GREENVILLE, S.C. (BP)–Carlisle Driggers, executive director-treasurer of the South Carolina Baptist Convention, was recognized as this year’s recipient of the M.E. Dodd Cooperative Program Award during the state convention’s Nov. 14-15 annual meeting at First Baptist Church in Taylors.
The award, from the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee, recognizes individuals who have demonstrated continuous excellence in supporting missions at home and abroad through the Cooperative Program.
“That’s what the Cooperative Program is: Never forget that the Cooperative Program is missions. It’s not money; it’s missions,” Morris H. Chapman, president and CEO of the Executive Committee, said in making the presentation. Chapman commended Driggers and South Carolina Baptists for sending “a 13th check” from the budget overage stemming from the churches’ gifts through the Cooperative Program.
Quoting Psalm 1:1-3, Chapman expressed Southern Baptists’ appreciation for Driggers’ positive convictions about the Cooperative Program over the course of his tenure. Driggers retires in February.
“I’ve come to thank God for his heart. He has a heart for God, for Southern Baptists and the Cooperative Program,” Chapman said of Driggers.
Recounting the birth of the Cooperative Program more than 80 years ago, Chapman emphasized that Southern Baptists “traditionally, by heritage, by conviction have been cooperating conservatives” since 1925. “It is a part of the strength of the fabric of who Southern Baptists are,” he said.
“I believe the Cooperative Program is a gift from God,” Chapman said in noting how SBC missionaries are “able to go overseas and know that Southern Baptists are not only praying for them, but also caring for them financially.” He also expressed gratefulness to Southern Baptists for providing for theological training of their ministers through the Cooperative Program.
The Cooperative Program led Southern Baptists to expand their vision beyond an inward focus upon mission endeavors, Chapman said, adding that more than ever Southern Baptists became a “giving people,” cooperatively working together, rather than a “getting people” working independently.
“I pray we never lose this deeply convictional love for missions,” Chapman said, noting the historic Cooperative Program giving by SBC churches in 13 of the last 14 years.
Chapman also praised Southern Baptists for exceeding the $200 million mark in CP giving for the first time during this past fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30.
The M.E. Dodd Cooperative Program Award, a bronze sculpture of a sower scattering seed around the world, is named after the chairman of the Southern Baptist commission that in 1925 recommended creation of the Cooperative Program.
Adapted from reporting by Todd Deaton of the Baptist Courier.