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SBC DIGEST: Hannah Daniel named ERLC policy director; B&H, Lifeway receive national book awards

Hannah Daniel appointed director of public policy for ERLC

By Timothy Cockes/ERLC

WASHINGTON (BP) – Hannah Daniel has been appointed to serve as the next director of public policy for the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission by ERLC President Brent Leatherwood.

Daniel, who previously served the ERLC as policy associate and later policy manager, will oversee the entity’s Washington office on Capitol Hill (Leland House), coordinating its public policy efforts in D.C. and across the nation. She will advocate for legislation and policies that advance the interests of Southern Baptists in the public square.

“I am thrilled Hannah Daniel has accepted this role for our Commission,” Leatherwood said Wednesday (Dec. 13) in a press release.

“The expertise, skill set and talent she brings to this role in Washington should make every Southern Baptist proud of this development. 

“I am constantly grateful for the voices that sing Hannah’s praises for the work she does on behalf of our churches. She always conducts herself with integrity, and views this work not merely as a chance to articulate helpful policy proposals but also as a chance to bring the Gospel to those in the highest offices in the land.”

Daniel is originally from Memphis, Tenn., where she was an active member of Bellevue Baptist Church. She graduated from Union University in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in economics.

In 2020, Daniel served as an intern with the ERLC in Washington, before officially joining the staff in 2021. She is a member of Kings Church in D.C., where she leads a Bible study.

A variety of Southern Baptist leaders voiced their approval of Daniel’s appointment in the press release.

“Hannah was a leader in our youth group, serving locally through tutoring inner city children as well as participating in international missions,” said Donna Gaines, Bible teacher, author and wife of Bellevue Baptist Church senior pastor Steve Gaines.

“She is fully committed to the Lord and the advancement of His Kingdom. I am so grateful that we have such a talented young woman willing to serve our SBC in this strategic position.”

ERLC trustee chairman Kevin Smith said Daniel has “demonstrated her ability to be a salt and light witness in the legislative world that is Washington, D.C.”

Daniel’s pastor at King’s Church, Benjamin Palka, told BP Daniel “loves the Great Commission is passionate for policy and truth, and most of all loves Jesus in a way we all see and feel.”

Daniel expressed her excitement to serve Southern Baptists in the position.

“I am incredibly honored to step into this role leading the ERLC’s advocacy in D.C.,” she said.

“As a lifelong Southern Baptist and former intern of the ERLC, I have a deep appreciation for the important work that has been done at Leland House for decades and have personally been impacted by those who came before me. Brent is an exceptional leader, and I am thrilled to work alongside him as we continue to bring his vision for our work to fruition.

“It is my desire that the ERLC would continue to be a consistent, hope-filled, and Gospel-centered voice in Washington as we work to advance the interests of Southern Baptists and the good of all our neighbors through public policy.”

B&H Publishing, Lifeway recognized 25 times in national book awards

By Aaron Wilson/Lifeway

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. (BP) – It’s the time of year when organizations present their annual book awards, and B&H Publishing Group has a lot to celebrate. In early December, the publishing arm of Lifeway Christian Resources received more than two dozen awards and acknowledgments from Christianity Today, The Gospel Coalition, Southwestern Journal of Theology, World Books of the Year and the Top Shelf Book Awards.

“I’m so proud of B&H Publishing’s authors and publishing professionals,” said Devin Maddox, director of B&H books. “Year after year, their work is recognized as being among the top Christian publishers in the world. It’s exciting to see the way God continues to use Christian books in His work to disciple His church.”

Theology titles triumph

Theology books made up the bulk of this year’s awards for B&H Publishing. Christianity Today recognized three of the publisher’s titles in the categories of popular theology (“Hope for God’s Creation” by Andrew J. Spencer; “God, Gift, and Guide” by Gregg Allison) and academic theology (“The Trinity and Canon” by Brandon D. Smith).

Meanwhile, The Gospel Coalition presented two awards of distinction in theology categories for the books “To Be a Woman” by Katie J. McCoy and “You Are a Theologian” by Jen Wilkin and J.T. English. Smith’s book on the Trinity also won The Gospel Coalition’s academic theology award, while Southwestern Journal of Theology recognized five B&H Academic titles in their annual awards.

“Winning a book award is always a thrill for an author, and it’s equally exciting for those of us who work on acquiring, editing and marketing the book,” said Madison Trammel, associate director of publishing. “We’re so grateful to our award-winning authors this year for entrusting their wonderful works to us. Academic books rarely make bestseller lists, so book awards are one of the best opportunities to spotlight quality new releases.”

Going into an election year, many Christians may be considering how their faith plays into the public square. On that note, B&H received several awards for books that examine politics from a Christian perspective.

“Baptist Political Theology” was recognized as Christianity Today’s winner in the politics and public life category and Southwestern Journal of Theology’s winner in the Baptist studies category. “Political Gospel: Public Witness in a Politically Crazy World” by Patrick Schreiber also won a top shelf book cover award from the Evangelical Christian Press Organization. Top shelf book cover awards identify industry leaders in graphic and artistic design.

Women and Spanish authors

Ten of B&H Publishing’s female authors were honored as top writers and editors in this year’s awards. Christianity Today recognized Kelly Minter in the Bible and devotional category (“The Blessed Life”), Linda MacKillop in the young adults category (“Hotel Oscar Mike Echo) and Emily Bennett for the missions/global church category (“Before You Go”).

Meanwhile, The Gospel Coalition presented an award of distinction to Amy Baik Lee (“This Homeward Ache”) in the first-time author category and recognized Rebecca McLaughlin in the Bible study and devotional literature category (“Navigating Gospel Truth”).

“There’s nothing that makes us happier than seeing readers love books like we do,” said Mary Wiley, trade books manager. “When respected organizations like The Gospel Coalition and Christianity Today deem those books to be among the best within Christian publishing, we celebrate, not just for great literature, but because books that readers love transform hearts.

“Awards also help readers find great books, and we’re thankful more people will be able to benefit from the words in their pages because of these recognitions,” said Wiley. “We work with some of the most faithful, gifted communicators. I’m thankful God chooses to move through the ministry of books.”

Earlier in the year, Lifeway Christian Resources and B&H Español were named Publisher of the Year by the Spanish Evangelical Publishers Association. This is the fifth time Lifeway—the world’s largest provider of Spanish Bibles—has been named Spanish Publisher of the Year.

Lifeway also received the award for Bible of the Year for “The Thematic Study Bible” (Biblia Temática de Estudio), edited by Miguel Núñez. “The Thematic Study Bible,” published June 2022, features a collaboration of theologians and pastors from various Spanish-speaking countries.

“We’re extremely grateful to God not only for the privilege of serving Him through a Bible like this but also for this recognition that testifies to a great work,” said Emanuel Elizondo, editor-in-chief. “Our desire is to continue glorifying God through resources of depth and quality.”

Read the full story and view the full list of awards here.

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