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4 Missourians to receive Midwestern alumni awards

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP)–Four leaders from Missouri will be presented alumni and honorary alumni awards from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary during the seminary’s alumni luncheon June 22 in Nashville, Tenn.

Two Missouri pastors will receive this year’s Alumni of the Year award: R. Gary Taylor, a 1967 MBTS graduate and senior pastor of First Baptist Church in O’Fallon, Mo., and Rodney Albert, a 1991 graduate and senior pastor of Hallsville (Mo.) Baptist Church.

“Gary Taylor and Rodney Albert are in the top rank of our alumni,” seminary President R. Philip Roberts said. “Their spiritual leadership, courage and devotion to their Lord make their alma mater proud.”

Additionally, Honorary Alumni of the Year awards will be presented to David Clippard, executive director of the Missouri Baptist Convention, and Gerald R. Davidson, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Arnold, Mo.

“Both David Clippard and Gerald Davidson have been exemplary leaders for both MBTS as well as the heartland of America,” Roberts said. “Their heart for God, His Word and their love for Jesus [and for] those who need Him are examples we applaud. We are honored to list them as officially part of the MBTS family.”

The awards are given each year to recognize those who have excelled in ministry and who have remained prayerfully and financially supportive of the mission of the seminary.

Taylor has extensive state leadership experience, serving as a past president and an executive board member for the Missouri Baptist Convention. He currently is a member of the convention’s legal task force. During his 15-plus years at First Baptist, O’Fallon, the church has baptized more than 1,000 people. He has also served as a trustee for Hannibal-LaGrange College in Hannibal, Mo., and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., and participated in mission work in Korea and Belarus.

Albert has served Missouri churches for more than 19 years. He is chairman of the Missouri Baptist Convention’s Christian Life Commission and has been an active voice for Missouri Southern Baptists to the state legislature, championing pro-life legislation. He also serves as a volunteer chaplain for the Bates County Memorial Hospital.

Clippard, a Missouri native, has served as executive director of the Missouri Baptist Convention since 2002. Prior to coming to the state convention, he served as associate executive director of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. His pastoral experience includes ministering in three different states. His passion for evangelism and missions has taken him to 10 different countries and involvement in church planting efforts in three states. He is also on the board of directors of Evangelism Explosion, founded by D. James Kennedy.

Davidson, who has pastored First Baptist Church in Arnold, Mo., for more than 30 years, recently announced his retirement, effective in 2006. He has pastored churches for more than 47 years in three states. Davidson currently serves as the first vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention and is a past president of the Missouri Baptist Convention. Additionally, he has participated in mission work in 13 countries and throughout the United States. He also is a trustee of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in California.

The alumni luncheon, held in conjunction with the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting in Nashville, will be in the Music City Ballroom at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel, 611 Commerce St. The Renaissance Nashville Hotel is connected to the Nashville Convention Center and adjacent to the Gaylord Entertainment Center.

Reservations must be made by Friday, June 10, by contacting Midwestern’s institutional advancement office at (816) 414-3720 or e-mail [email protected]. Reserved tickets can be picked up at the Midwestern booth anytime on Tuesday, June 21, in the SBC exhibit hall.

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  • James Streicher