KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP)–Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary President R. Philip Roberts received the 2001 John Leland Religious Liberty Award during a chapel service Oct. 16 at the Kansas City, Mo., campus.
Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, presented the award. It is given each year to someone who has exhibited outstanding leadership in the defense and encouragement of religious liberty.
“Presenting this award is one of the highlights of my year,” Land said. “Dr. Roberts’ commitment to religious liberty as a God-given right has been as enduring as it has been vibrant.”
The award recognizes Roberts’ work to help open the doors of religious liberty in Romania and Eastern Europe and his leadership in the production of the Chicago Declaration on Religious Liberty — signed by more than 80 evangelical leaders in May 2000.
“I am deeply honored by this recognition,” Roberts said. “It was a delight to work with Dr. Land and the other framers of the Chicago Declaration. This statement is absolutely critical for evangelicals to embrace and practice. Religious liberty is one of the great treasurers we hold as Americans, but we must till it vigorously and consistently by the sharing of our faith.”
The award is named for John Leland, a Baptist preacher whose persistent intercession with James Madison was instrumental in securing the protection of freedom of religious expression and speech embodied in the Constitution’s First Amendment.
Past recipients of this award include Congressman Charles Canady, James Dobson, Carl F.H. Henry and Jay Sekulow.
(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net.
Photo title: OPENING DOORS FOR FAITH.