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Baptist editors announce scholarship honoring Hefley


INDIANAPOLIS (BP)–Southern Baptist state newspapers from across the nation will award for the first time this fall scholarships in honor of legendary Southern Baptist journalist James C. Hefley, who died earlier this year.

The James C. Hefley Scholarships for Excellence in Christian Journalism will be awarded annually to students who demonstrate excellence in newswriting from a Christian worldview. The scholarship amounts will be $1,000 per award.

Jim Hefley is best known among Southern Baptists for his “Truth in Crisis” book series chronicling the conservative resurgence in the Southern Baptist Convention. Hefley’s reputation for fairness and skill made him well-respected by Southern Baptists as well as by journalists outside the denomination, the sponsoring editors said.

Editor John Yeats of the Oklahoma Baptist Messenger said, “Jim courageously wrote the truth about the important issues impacting our beloved Southern Baptist Convention. This man of character and principle was a mentor, advocate and model for Christian journalism. We are convinced his legacy should live through the journalism students who embrace a distinctively Christian worldview. We are excited to be able to raise the standard of Christian journalism among Southern Baptists in the coming generations.”

Along with Yeats, the vision for the scholarships came from Gary Ledbetter, editor of the Southern Baptist Texan, the newsjournal of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention, and James A. Smith Sr., executive editor of the Florida Baptist Witness, newsjournal of the Florida Baptist State Convention.

Journalism students who have completed at least 60 hours of college work and who are participating members of a Southern Baptist church may obtain after July 1 application information by contacting the Florida Baptist Witness, 1230 Hendricks Ave., Jacksonville, Fla. 32207; (904) 596-3165. The first scholarship recipients will be announced at the Baptist Press Student Journalism Conference this fall.


Other state Baptist newspapers participating in the scholarship program include, The Pathway (Mo.), The Christian Index (Ga.) and Baptist Life (Md./Del.). Baptist Press, the daily news service of the Southern Baptist Convention, also is a sponsoring news organization.

Southern Baptists who would like to contribute to The James C. Hefley Scholarships for Excellence in Christian Journalism may do so by sending a check marked “Hefley Scholarship” to Oklahoma Baptist Messenger, 3800 N. May, Oklahoma City, OK 73112. The scholarship fund will be established at the Southern Baptist Foundation in Nashville, Tenn.