NGU Presents Inaugural Award at SBC Annual Meeting
Tigerville, SC (June 26, 2019) More than 8,100 Southern Baptists gathered for the annual Southern Baptist Convention in Birmingham, AL, June 10-12. It was an opportunity for members of the North Greenville University community to connect with friends and family from around the world.
“North Greenville University is proud to be an institution of the South Carolina Baptist Convention, in relationship to the Southern Baptist Convention. This year we expanded the university’s presence at the convention with more representatives, a new display area, a successful alumni event, and a robust social media presence,” said NGU President Dr. Gene C. Fant, Jr.
NGU’s expanded presence attracted alumni and friends to its booth for fellowship and to be a part of several “NGU Convention Talks.” Several SBC leaders were featured in the panel discussions; the sessions were recorded and are now available to be viewed at NGU Convention Talks.
Such topics as “The Importance of the Cooperative Program for Baptist State Conventions,” “Religious Liberty and Christian Higher Education,” and “Racial Reconciliation and Southern Baptists,” were discussed. Those interviewed by NGU Provost and Dean of the University Faculty Dr. Nathan A. Finn included: NGU President Dr. Gene C. Fant, Jr., Dr. Marshall Blalock, Dr. David Dockery, Rev. Jay Hardwick, Rev. Milton Holifield, Dr. Gary Hollingsworth, Dr. Walter R. Strickland III, Dr. Mark Tew, and Dr. Andrew Walker.
“[I] loved seeing NGU’s strong presence at the SBC this year. Great days ahead,” said South Carolina Baptist Convention Associate Executive Director/Chief Strategist Jay Hardwick (’99).
Two long-time Southern Baptist laborers, Dr. Ken and Paula Hemphill were honored at an alumni and friends event at the Birmingham Zoo’s Kiwanis Giraffe Encounter on June 11. The Hemphills received the inaugural Paula and Ken Hemphill Award for Denominational Service, recognizing their servant leadership empowering Southern Baptists’ kingdom growth.
In presenting the award, President Fant noted that while Ken Hemphill was a widely recognized Southern Baptist statesman, there was not broad recognition of his spouse’s vital ministry work. Therefore, Paula is listed first in the name of the new annual award.
The Paula and Ken Hemphill Award for Denominational Service will honor the noteworthy Southern Baptist denominational service of deserving recipients each year, Vice President for Advancement and University Engagement Marty O’Gwynn said.
Paula and Ken Hemphill have careers spanning global missions, local pastorates, seminary leadership and writing books on varied ministry topics. The Hemphills are actively engaged in developing resources which enhance strategic work in evangelism and church revitalization. Ken is currently the special assistant to the president and distinguished professor of Christian Studies at NGU.
More than 80 alumni and friends attended the NGU event on Tuesday evening, hearing an update on the university from President Fant and visiting with other alumni in a setting which brought participants eye-to-eye with the zoo’s giraffes.
“It was great to connect with so many alumni who are leaders around the country and the world, as well as friends and well-wishers who support our work. We look forward to seeing everyone in 2020, in Orlando, Florida,” said President Fant.
Other Convention Notes
Provost Finn is co-author of a resolution on local church autonomy with Dr. Malcolm B. Yarnell III and Dr. Bart Barber. The resolution was approved by convention messengers with minimal revisions. View the slate of 2019 resolutions presented at this year’s meeting.
Senior Director of Church and Community Engagement for the Tim Brashier Campus Dr. Tony Beam serves on the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC). The Commission is the public policy arm of the SBC.