By Bob Allen
Baptist News Global honored veteran Baptist journalist Marv Knox for “courage, moral integrity and truth-telling” across a career spanning more than three decades at a Cooperative Baptist Fellowship General Assembly auxiliary event June 18.
BNG board chair Kyle Reese presented Knox the Greg Warner Lifetime Achievement Award in Religious Journalism, named after the first full-time employee and long-time executive editor of Associated Baptist Press, one of two news organizations which merged in 2014 to form BNG. The award recognizes courage and integrity in reporting important issues related to matters of faith and writing and reporting that consistently reflect the highest standards of journalism.
“There is no part of Baptist life that Marv has not had a part of,” said Reese, pastor of Hendricks Avenue Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Fla.
“Either that, or he can’t hold down a job,” he quipped.
A native of Fort Worth, Texas, Knox is a 1979 graduate of Hardin-Simmons University who earned a master of divinity degree at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., in 1984.
He was editor of his college newspaper and worked at the Abilene Reporter-News before becoming assistant news editor for the Southern Baptist Home (now North American) Mission Board in 1979.
In 1981, while a student at Southern Seminary, he became news and information director for the seminary, a position he held until 1983. From 1984 until 1986 he was assistant editor of the Baptist Message, the Louisiana Baptist Convention’s newspaper, before joining the Baptist Press staff as feature editor in 1986.
He served with BP for four years before accepting the editorship of the Western Recorder, Baptist state paper in Kentucky, in 1990. He left in 1995 to become associate editor of the Baptist Standard in Dallas, before being promoted to editor and publisher of Baptist Standard Publishing in 1999.
Knox was an early supporter of Associated Baptist Press and served 23 years on the board of ABP and its successor, Baptist News Global, including a term as board chair.
“We love Marv not just for who he is, but for the courageous work that he does,” Reese said.
Knox, 58, described the award as “a reminder of a lifetime of unmerited blessing.”
“When I went to the Home Mission Board 36 years go this summer, I arrived at a place where Walker Knight had assembled the finest collection of journalistic talent Baptists have ever known and ever will know in one place,” he said.
He described covering the Southern Baptist Convention controversy in the 1980s at Baptist Press as “a fantastic story to tell that broke our hearts every time we told it.”
“But to work with W.C. Fields and Dan Martin and Al Shackleford was a tremendous blessing,” he said. “For somebody who loves history, to have a ringside seat to all that — one of the saddest schisms in the history of the church — was remarkable, and I am grateful for the experience.”
“We received plenty of sympathy during the days of the great Baptist holy war for all we went through, and it was tough,” Knox said. “It’s been even harder to go through the great Baptist boredom.”
Previous award recipients are Warner, who retired in 2008 due to medical disability at age 53; long-time Biblical Recorder Editor R.G. Puckett; and Toby Druin, Knox’s mentor and predecessor at the Baptist Standard. Before establishing the award in 2009, ABP twice presented an earlier Writer’s Award to Ken Camp and Mark Wingfield, both former colleagues who worked with Knox at Baptist newspapers in Kentucky and/or Texas.