Pastor Bill Harman honored with 2023 Peacemaker Award by Encinitas Rotary Club

 Daphne Fletcher of Encinitas Rotary who nominated Pastor Bill Harman
(L-R) Daphne Fletcher of Encinitas Rotary who nominated Pastor Bill Harman; Pastor Bill Harman; PeaceMaker Award recipient; John Simonelli, president, Encinitas Rotary Club.
(Copyright of Encinitas Rotary Club)

The Encinitas Rotary Club has awarded Pastor Bill Harman its 2023 Peacemaker Award, according to a news release. Harman, an Encinitas resident, has devoted his life to promoting peace and understanding in the world. His work has had a profound impact on countless individuals and communities.

Despite being in his 80s, Harman continues to inspire and lead by example. After retiring as the pastor of Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Encinitas, he has been a teacher/ambassador at The Grauer School in Encinitas for the past 22 years, where he shares his motivating experiences such as marching with Martin Luther King in Selma, sitting in peace talks with Bishop Tutu and Nelson Mandela to end apartheid, advocating for the LGBTQ community in San Francisco during the height of the AIDs epidemic, and leading other clergy in standing up for the community. He also began the initial peace talks with President Arias in Costa Rica for the Contras in Nicaragua along with the Carter Center that President Jimmy Carter founded in Atlanta, Ga.

Harman has been chaplain for Palliative Care at Scripps Encinitas Hospital for the past 12 years. He is co-founder of the San Dieguito Interfaith Ministerial Association, which brings together diverse religious communities to learn about and support one another. His efforts have helped to create an environment of mutual respect and understanding, which has resulted in numerous community causes and fundraisers over the years, including Hands of Peace and an annual event for the U.N. International Peace Day.

“Pastor Harman’s contributions to promoting peace and understanding have been truly remarkable, and we are honored to recognize him with this award” said Encinitas Rotary Club President John Simonelli. “He is a true inspiration to us all.”

Upon receiving the award, Harman humbly expressed his gratitude and emphasized the importance of peacemaking efforts in today’s world. “We all have the power to make a difference and create a more peaceful world.”

The Encinitas Rotary Club Peacemaker Award is presented annually to recognize individuals in the community who have made significant contributions to promoting peace and understanding in their communities and beyond. Harman is a shining example of the impact one person can have on the world, and his efforts serve as a beacon of hope and inspiration for us all.

For more information about Encinitas Rotary, visit —Encinitas Rotary Club news release