About Heroes, Saints & Legends

Heroes, Saints & Legends honors extraordinary individuals who have shaped our community through a lifetime commitment to leadership, service and philanthropy. Funds raised through Heroes, Saints & Legends benefit the mission and ministry of Wesley Woods which includes financial assistance with meals and housing, wellness programming and pastoral care to the older adults living in Wesley Woods communities.

Introducing 2021 Honorees


Dr. Allen Ecker
Dr. Allen Ecker

In more than three decades with Scientific-Atlanta, Allen Ecker became a leader in the telecommunications industry, holding several executive positions leading up to Executive Vice President. Dr. Ecker has received numerous awards throughout his career, including “Innovator of the Year" by the Southeastern Cable Television Association; inductee to the Technology Hall of Fame of Georgia; Leadership in Interactive Television and the Lifetime Achievement Award for Innovation by the Atlanta Telecom Professionals.

Dr. Ecker earned his undergraduate and master’s degrees from Georgia Tech, where he met his wife, Sandra, and his PhD from Ohio State. He played football at Georgia Tech where he excelled both on and off the field as a 1st Team All American and Academic All American and was later chosen for the Total Person Former Student-Athlete Award. Dr. Ecker is a recipient of the Joseph Mayo Petit Alumni Distinguished Service Award, Georgia Tech’s highest Alumni Award for lifetime leadership in his profession and in the community. He has remained active as an alumnus, serving as a trustee of the Georgia Tech Foundation and is a former member of the Alexander Tharpe Fund Board and the Georgia Tech Alumni Association Board. He also currently serves on the Marcus Autism Center Board of Directors. Dr. Ecker has been honored on the House floor of the Georgia Legislature recognizing his lifetime achievements and many contributions to economic development in Georgia. The Ecker’s have three children and four grandchildren.

Phil JacobsPhil Jacobs

Phil Jacobs is a founding Partner of The Pendleton Consulting Group and a pro bono Senior Consultant for Coxe Curry and Associates. Prior to establishing his firm, Mr. Jacobs served in numerous leadership positions during his distinguished 34-year career at BellSouth and AT&T, including President of BellSouth’s Georgia Operations and President of Business Communications Services of AT&T-Southeast following AT&T’s acquisition of BellSouth.

In 2005, Mr. Jacobs was named “Most Respected CEO in Georgia” by Georgia Trend Magazine. His commitment to Education, Economic Development and Healthcare in Georgia is evidenced by being appointed to the State’s Board of Economic Development, where he served as Chairman for three years, and to Georgia’s Professional Standards Commission.

Mr. Jacobs has chaired many non-profit boards, including the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, Woodruff Arts Center Governing Board and the CDC Foundation. He is currently Vice Chair of the East Lake Foundation Board and serves on the Boards of the Emory Global Health Institute, the Georgia Aquarium, Cognia, and Voices for Georgia’s Children. Many additional non-profit organizations have benefited from Mr. Jacob’s leadership including The Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education and Teach for America Atlanta.

In 2012, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention dedicated the Phil S. Jacobs Distance Learning Conference Center in recognition of his efforts in working with the U.S. Congress to improve building and facilities funding for the CDC. Phil and his wife, Jenny, and have three children and six grandchildren.

Bishop WhiteBishop Woodie W. White

Bishop Woodie W. White is a retired Bishop of The United Methodist Church and formerly served as Bishop-in-Residence at the Candler School of Theology, Emory University. Bishop White was born and raised in New York City, graduated from Paine College and earned a Master of Divinity degree from Boston University School of Theology where he has been honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award.

Bishop White is a long-time civil rights activist and leader in the struggle for racial justice and reconciliation. When the Methodist Church united with the Evangelical United Brethren Church to form The United Methodist Church, it was determined there would be no racial segregation in the new denomination. The General Commission on Religion and Race was established to oversee and assist in this work, and Bishop White became its first General Secretary.

Bishop White served on a four-person task force to examine racism and race relations in Australia and New Zealand for the Committee to Combat Racism of the World Council of Churches. He was recently honored by Candler with the establishment of The Bishop Woodie White scholarship to be awarded to a student for their work in race relations and social justice. Bishop White has also been recognized with an Urban Award from the U.S. Government Office of Economic Opportunity, the Distinguished Service Award from the United Committee on Negro History and honorary doctorates from 10 colleges and universities. Bishop White and his wife, Kim, have five children and eight grandchildren.

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Prior Honorees

2020
Dr. Carolyn and Coach Bill Curry
Cecilia and David Ratcliffe

2019
J. Neal Purcell
Ray M. Robinson
Lyn and Bob Turknett

2018
Rev. Dr. Joseph E. Lowery & Dr. Evelyn Gibson Lowery
Edward J. "Jack" Hardin
Merritt Steed Bond

2017
Bishop John & Dr. Dolly Adams
Ann Q. Curry
Hank M. Huckaby

2016
Dr. J. David Allen
Lillian Budd Darden
Egbert L.J. Perry

2015
Dr. Monica Parker
Bill Bolling
Shirley Franklin

2014
Rev. Dr. Don Harp
Dr. Linton Hopkins
Ingrid Saunders Jones
Lonnie Ali

2013
Vince Dooley
Monica Pearson
Dr. Allan Levey

2012
S. Truett Cathy
Ann Cramer
Carl Ware
W.N. “Bill” Wilkins

2011
Pat Epps
Sam Massell
Frank Broyles

2010
Paul S. Amos
Dr. Mahlon DeLong
Andrew Young

2009
Azira Hill
Jesse Hill
Lou Brown Jewell
Ferrol A. Sams

2008
Walter E. Massey
Colleen O’Brien Nunn
B. Franklin Skinner

2007
W. Lee Burge
Harold A. Dawson, Sr.
Alana Smith Shepherd

2006
Dorothy H. Addison
Gay McLawhorn Love
Marvin H. Shoob
Elizabeth Wilson

2005
Henry L. Aaron
J. Willis Hurst, M.D.
Dr. Berta R. Laney
Dr. James T. Laney

2004
Mary Duckworth Gellerstedt
Clyde Rodbell
Felker W. Ward, Jr.

2003
John E. Aderhold
Jeanne Rolfe Ferst
Horace T. Ward

2002
N. Bond Fleming
Dorothy C. Fuqua
J.B. Fuqua
Louis W. Sullivan

2001
Rosalynn S. Carter
Homer C. Rice
Herman J. Russell

2000
L. Scott Allen
Leila D. Denmark
Thomas B. Murphy

1999
Ivan Allen, Jr.
Louise Richardson Allen
Elliott Goldstein

1998
Rawson Haverty
Louise McBee
Randolph W. Thrower

1997
Beatrice H. Hass
Franklin M. Garrett
Virlyn B. Moore, Jr.

1996
Elliott Galloway
Daniel H. Magill, Jr.
LeRoy T. Walker
Charles R. Yates

1995
Donald L. Hollowell
Elmo I. Ellis
Frances F. Pauley

1994
William R. Cannon
Rebecca Y. Frazer
Manning M. Pattillo, Jr.

1993
Albert J. Bows
Celestine Sibley
Boisfeuillet Jones

1992
Martha H. Ellis
Candler Budd
A.B. Padgett
George B. Hightower

1991
Henry L. Bowden, Sr.
D.W. Brooks
Selma T. Richardson

1990
Eleanor L. Richardson
Constantin Chatov
Dean Rusk
Elbert P. Tuttle

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