The awards program of ABPnews/Herald, an initiative of the Board of Directors, recognizes individuals and organizations for their outstanding contributions to Baptist life, to Baptist values, to religious journalism and to the mission and vision of ABPnews/Herald. Recipients are chosen by the Board of Directors.


Founders Award

This award, established in 1998, recognizes individuals and organizations that have embodied the founding principles of ABPnews/Herald through significant professional and/or financial contributions to the organization.

Founders Award recipients:

Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (Inaugural Award), Atlanta, GA, 1999

Virginia Boyd Connally, Abilene, TX,1999

Park Cities Baptist Church, Dallas, TX, 2000

Patricia Ayres, Austin, TX, 2001

Baptist General Association of Virginia, Richmond, VA, 2003

Northminster Baptist Church, Jackson, MS, 2004

Wilshire Baptist Church, Dallas, TX, 2007

Baptist General Convention of Texas, Dallas, TX, 2008

Dan Hobbs, Norman, OK, 2010

Bob Stephenson, Norman, OK, 2011

Ed Vick, posthumously, Raleigh, NC, 2012


Greg Warner Lifetime Achievement Award in Religious Journalism

This award, bearing the name of the former executive editor of ABPnews/Herald, was created in 2009 to honor journalists whose body of work has contributed in significant ways to the understanding of religion in American society. It recognizes persons who with courage and integrity have addressed important issues related to matters of faith, whose writing and reporting have consistently reflected the highest standards of journalism, and whose work is consistent with the mission and values of ABPnews/Herald. Greg Warner was named the inaugural recipient in 2009.

Lifetime Achievement Award recipients:

Greg Warner (Inaugural Award), Jacksonville, FL, 2009

R.G. "Gene" Puckett, Raleigh, NC, 2011

Toby Druin, Dallas, TX, 2012

The lifetime achievement award replaced a previous honor known as the Writers Award. Recipients of that award were Mark Wingfield, Dallas, TX, 2003, and Ken Camp, Dallas, TX, 2006.


Religious Freedom Award

Established in 1994, the Religious Freedom Award honored individuals whose achievements advanced the principles and practice of religious freedom. In 2011 the Board of Directors voted to suspend the award in deference to an award with the same name and similar criteria sponsored by the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty.

Recipients of the Religious Freedom Award:

Jack Brymer Sr., former editor, Florida Baptist Witness, 1994

Religion News Staff of The Dallas Morning News, 1995

Gus Niebuhr, former national correspondent for religion for The New York Times, 1996

Will Campbell, ordained minister, author and civil-rights activist, 1997

Walker Knight, founding editor of Baptists Today newspaper and former editor of Home Missions magazine, 1998

James Dunn, retired executive director, Baptist Joint Committee on Public Affairs, 1999

Peggy Wehmeyer, former religion reporter for ABC News, 2000

Jim Jones, retired religion editor for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 2002

Chet Edwards, United States Representative, Texas 11th District, 2003

Charles C. Haynes, senior scholar, The Freedom Forum First Amendment Center, 2004

Wilmer C. Fields, retired director of Baptist Press and vice president for public relations, Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, 2006

Cecil Sherman, retired pastor, first coordinator for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, 2008

Walter Shurden, professor of Christianity, Mercer University, 2008

Herbert H. Reynolds (posthumously), former president of Baylor University, 2009

Melissa Rogers, director of Wake Forest University's Center for Religion and Public Affairs, Wake Forest Divinity School, and nonresident senior fellow within the governance program of The Brookings Institution, 2011


For more information about the criteria and nomination process for these awards, contact Robert Dilday, Editor in Chief, at 800-340-6626, ext 7, or email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Current board members and ABPnews/Herald staff are ineligible for these awards.