2017 Brotherhood/Sisterhood Citation Award Honorees


Dr. Thomas S. Haggai

Dr. Thomas S. Haggai is dedicated to the betterment of his adopted hometown of High Point. He has worked extensively in High Point and around the world to promote education, entrepreneurship, religious tolerance, and cross-cultural understanding. As founding pastor of Emerywood Baptist Church, Haggai built relationships across many lines of difference, including the forging of close ties with the Jewish community at nearby B’nai Israel Synagogue. After gaining renown as a motivational speaker and radio personality, he served for 20 years as chairman and CEO of IGA Global and led its robust worldwide expansion. Haggai was instrumental in forming the Business Roundtable, a group whose efforts to chart the best path for the city’s future helped define downtown High Point’s success. For 52 years, the Thomas Haggai and Associates Foundation granted scholarships to train nontraditional students as elementary school teachers; in 2016, the Foundation distributed the last of its funds to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro to endow a new program for that purpose. Haggai has received many honorary degrees and awards, including High Point’s Distinguished Citizen of the Year award, the Horatio Alger Association’s Norman Vincent Peale Award, and the Food Marketing Institutes’ Herbert Hoover Award.


Julie Peeples

Julie Peeples is a powerful voice of justice and compassion in the Greensboro community. She has served as senior pastor of Congregational United Church of Christ since the early 1990s, growing it into one of Greensboro’s most diverse congregation. Peeples has long been an ally to the LGBTQ community. In 2002, she performed what is believed to be the first commitment service of a gay couple in a mainline Greensboro church. More recently, she organized faith communities in opposition to Amendment One and HB2. As a key advocate on behalf of our most vulnerable and marginalized neighbors, she regularly mobilizes her congregation and the Triad’s faith community to take action on issues including racial equity, LGBTQ rights, voting rights, worker’s rights, hunger relief, healthcare, and immigration. Peeples was instrumental in founding the Greensboro Faith Leaders Council, the Greensboro Congregational Assistance Network, and Mustard Seed Community Health, and has worked with many other community organizations, including FaithAction International House and NCCJ of the Piedmont Triad. She is the recipient of several awards, including the United Church of Christ’s Antoinette Brown Award, Equality NC’s Bob Page Equality Champion for the Triad Region Award, and the Greensboro Club of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs Sojourner Truth Award.