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LeaderLife Award begun; first recipients announced

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–An award to recognize models of excellence in leadership has been established by the Baptist Sunday School Board’s church leadership services division and its first recipients have been announced.
Medford Hutson of Marble Falls, Texas, and Bob Mowrey of Nashville, Tenn., have been chosen to receive the first James T. Draper, Jr., LeaderLife Awards.

Hutson, who was a missionary pastor in Utah for 30 years, was honored during the National Conference for Church Leadership at Glorieta (N.M.) Baptist Conference Center this summer. Mowrey, a pastor for 45 years, was recognized during NCCL at Ridgecrest (N.C.) Baptist Conference Center.
Don Mathis, director of the board’s pastor-staff leadership department that includes LeaderLife, said Hutson was instrumental in establishing 13 churches, 18 missions and 32 Bible fellowships. While in Utah, he baptized more than 1,000 people. He was pastor of First Baptist Church, Bertram, Texas, for four years until his retirement in March 1997. He became interim pastor of Bluebonnet Hills Baptist Church in Marble Falls a week later.
Mowrey had been pastor of churches in Chattanooga, Tenn., Summerville, Ga., and Fort Payne, Ala., before becoming pastor of Park Avenue Baptist Church in Nashville in 1960. He remained at Park Avenue until his retirement in 1995. In his years at the church, it averaged 130 baptisms a year. He has been interim pastor at First Baptist Church, Cookeville, Tenn., since his retirement.
Both have fulfilled a range of volunteer roles in the denomination.
Among its benefits, the award provides recipients a set of the New American Commentary published by Broadman & Holman Publishers and a $2,500 grant to be used within one year to study a leadership issue of the individual’s choice.
Criteria for the award include a minimum of 25 years in ministry leadership positions; significant denominational contribution; exemplification of ministry calling, character and competency; and modeling skills in communication, ministry, administration and leadership.
Mathis said nominations will be sought each year from among SBC leaders, associational directors of missions, pastors, state Baptist convention leaders and anyone else who wishes to make a nomination.
LeaderLife, which will be launched Sept. 1, is a development process designed to enhance and improve the personal and professional leadership of pastors and staff members. Mathis said charter members are now being accepted.
LeaderLife encompasses LeaderCare, a strategy to provide a network of personal development help for pastors and staff, and LeaderSkill, an initiative focusing on four essential leadership functions of leading, administering, ministering and communicating.

“LeaderLife is a customized strategy to meet the needs of pastor-staff leaders,” Mathis said. “It provides resources and services for personal and professional development and consultation.”
LeaderSkill includes identification of leadership style, education through a leadership development plan, application of leadership progress, multiplication though leadership mentoring and recognition through leadership awards.
LeaderCare offers resources and a network for help in personal development as well as crisis prevention, intervention and restoration.

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