Making the World a Better Place: John Esquivel Receives 2019 Woodrow B. Seals Laity Award

Date Posted: 3/14/2019

By: Sherri Gragg - En Español

Service to Church, Community and World
John M. Esquivel, member of FUMC Houston, is the 2019 recipient of the Woodrow B. Seals Laity Award, awarded annually by the Perkins School of Theology to a layperson who “embodies the Christian faith and commitment of service to Christ in the church, community and world as exemplified by Judge Woodrow B. Seals.” Seals, a dedicated and influential layperson, was instrumental in the development of the Perkins School of Theology for Laity. 
A Legacy of Service
Esquivel, a retiree of Shell Oil Company where he served as Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer and Associate General Counsel, is a member of First United Methodist Church Houston. In 2016, he was elected Texas Annual Conference Lay Leader in addition to serving on Bishop Scott Jones’s Extended Cabinet.

Esquivel actively serves his community as well. He has served as Chairman of both the Greater Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation, and Justice for Our Neighbors Houston. He is a board member of the National Council of La Raza and the YMCA of Greater Houston. Esquivel is a longtime member of the Board of Trustees for the Houston Symphony, and currently serves on the Board of the Houston Endowment and UnidosUS. He is on the Quality Committee of the Memorial Hermann Health System, a Fellow of the American Leadership Forum (Class XXVI) and is a Life Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation.

“John serves faithfully and actively not only in his home congregation but also in the broader community and in the world,” said Jan McClendon, chair of the Seals Laity Award Committee and a member of the Perkins Lay Board. “I was particularly impressed with John’s commitment to global ministry. He and his family have gone on mission trips to 14 different countries in addition to their work in the U.S.”

Deep Faith, Impressive Leadership
Esquivel will receive the Woodrow B. Seals Laity Award during the opening worship of the Perkins Theological School for the Laity, Thursday, March 28, 2019, at 4:45 p.m. “John Esquivel is a person of deep faith with an impressive record of leadership in the Houston community and in the United Methodist church,” said Priscilla Pope-Levison, Associate Dean of External Affairs at Perkins. “He is devoted to making Houston and the world a better place through his work in civil rights, advocacy and philanthropy.”