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Joyce and Eric Burges Recipients of the 2012 Dr. Robert Dreyfus Courageous Christian Leadership Award

Contact: Chaplain E. Ray Moore (Lt. Col.), USAR Ret., President, Frontline Ministries, Inc., 803-714-1744; exodusmandate@gmail.com; www.exodusmandate.org

COLUMBIA, S.C., Jan. 14, 2013 /Christian Newswire/ -- Frontline Ministries, Inc., and the Exodus Mandate Project announced today the selection of Joyce and Eric Burges, founders of National Black Home Educators (NBHE) as the recipients of the 2012 Dr. Robert Dreyfus Courageous Christian Leaders Award.  Established by Frontline Ministries, Inc., in 2007, this award is presented annually to honor and recognize Christian leaders who have exhibited moral courage through their unique contribution to the Church by advancing Christianity in the culture and life of the nation.  This contribution may run counter to the prevailing culture of Church and society.

In July 2000, Joyce and Eric Burges established the NBHE as a resource network to encourage, support and offer fellowship to families who are exploring the benefits of home education.  Through local state support groups, NBHE provides assistance with information about getting started in homeschooling, networking and connecting veteran homeschool families with new families, and recommending resources that reflect Christian standards.  The mission of NBHE is to empower parents to educate their children for excellence. The Burgeses have devoted their efforts to developing strong families with healthy parent-child relationships and to promoting world-class education for children through parent-directed education.

A licensed minister, Eric Burges served as a pastor for 28 years.  For 33 years he has served with the Louisiana State Department of Transportation and Development as a financial manager.  He is a talented artist, songwriter and singer.  A devoted father, he enjoys hands-on activities and building projects with their five children and their five granddaughters.  He speaks across the country giving encouragement to families and a variety of audiences.

Also a gifted singer, Joyce Burges has been a homeschool mother for over two decades, graduating four children now aged 36-24, and she continues to educate their youngest daughter aged 17.  She currently serves as an elected member of the Baker City Council in Louisiana.  She speaks to women locally and nationally on topics ranging from homeschooling to femininity.  She is a frequent speaker in homes for girls from ages 13 to 18, encouraging them on the principles of healing past hurts, finding their identity in their image, valuing their integrity, and maintaining a great love for themselves through serving others.  Mrs. Burges' life has been a courageous example of all these virtues.

Chaplain Moore noted, "Rev. and Mrs. Burges began what many early home educators planned as an effort to offer a high standard of Christian education for their five children.  It has become a national movement that has blessed countless families to build on their shoulders.  Because of their faithfulness to the vision God gave them for their own family, so many others have reaped benefits that have strengthened their families as well."

Dr. Dreyfus, a prominent retired Florida dentist and inventor of a device to relieve neuromuscular pain for dental use, served as president of the Florida Dental Society of Anesthesiology.  He has more than 45 years of volunteer work on behalf of family values and K-12 Christian education in Florida and now serves as the Florida state coordinator for the Exodus Mandate Project.

Chaplain Moore noted that the 2012 award is the sixth to be awarded.  Past recipients include: Thomas C. Pinckney, M.A., Brigadier General USAF Ret. and Bruce N. Shortt, J.D., Ph.D. (2007); Brian D. Ray, Ph.D., president of the National Home Education Research Institute (2008); Gena and Paul Suarez, publishers of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine (2009); Geri and Bob Boyd, Issues in Education radio ministry (2010); Alice Moore, 1974 WV Textbook Protester (2011).

NBHE's awards also include: Homeschooling's Best Pioneers Award 2005; House Resolution 85 (Louisiana Legislature 2006); Proclamation (Louisiana's Governor Bobby Jindal).

Contact information for Joyce and Eric Burges: National Black Home Educators (NBHE), 13434 Plank Road, PMB 110, Baker, LA 70714; (225) 778-0169; email: contact@nbhe.net; www.nbhe.net.