News Articles

Southwestern announces alumni award recipients

FORT WORTH, Texas (BP)–Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary has announced the recipients of its annual Distinguished Alumni Awards.

Ronnie Floyd, pastor of First Baptist Church in Springdale, Ark., Mac Brunson, pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas, and Paul K.S. Kim, pastor of Berkland Baptist Church in Cambridge, Mass., will receive awards for their respective roles in pastoral ministry and international church planting. Claude Cone, executive director of the Baptist Convention of New Mexico, will also receive the award for his 19 years of service in that state.

The seminary grants the distinguished alumni award to those who have excelled in ministry and who have remained prayerfully and financially supportive of the mission of the seminary. The awards are given each year at the seminary’s national alumni luncheon, held in conjunction with the Southern Baptist Convention. This year’s national alumni luncheon will be held in Indianapolis June 16.

Floyd has served as pastor of FBC in Springdale, Ark., for 17 years, in which time the church has grown from 3,000 to more than 14,000 members. The congregation has recorded more than 9,500 baptisms. In August 2001, the church planted an additional congregation, The Church at Pinnacle Hills, in the neighboring city of Rogers. Floyd serves as pastor of both churches.

Southern Baptist Convention President Jack Graham said that Floyd was “one of Southern Baptists’ most powerful preachers and church builders.”

Southwestern Seminary President Paige Patterson said that Floyd has a committed pastor’s heart.

“Few contemporary pastors have been so successful a shepherd of God’s flock as Ronnie Floyd,” Patterson said. “As an administrator, shepherd, evangelist and pastor, he is virtually without peer.”

Floyd received a master of divinity degree and doctor of ministry degree from Southwestern.

Brunson represents what Southwestern Seminary wishes to model in “pulpit prowess,” Patterson said.

“Scintillating proclamation of the text of Holy Scripture is Dr. Brunson’s immeasurable contribution to the great pulpit tradition of Truett, Criswell and Hawkins,” he said.

Brunson became the pastor of First Baptist, Dallas in 1999 and was most recently president of the annual Southern Baptist Convention Pastors Conference. He is the author of “The God You’ve Been Searching For,” released in January. A two-time graduate of Southwestern Seminary, Brunson is a conference speaker and has served as president of the North Carolina Baptist State Convention. He also serves as chancellor of Criswell College.

Kim has served as an International Mission Board trustee and has planted 18 churches worldwide. IMB President Jerry Rankin said Kim was “an outstanding and visionary missiologist” who is “highly respected in the Korean-American community and beyond.”

Kim received both a master of divinity and a master of arts in religious education degree from Southwestern Seminary. Patterson, who presided over Kim’s ordination service at First Baptist, Dallas in 1976, said that Kim had exhibited the qualities characteristic of a Southwesterner and was a “glowing luminary into the campuses of Harvard and MIT.”

“Dr. Kim’s church thrives in an area that most people wrote off as virtually impossible for evangelistic ministry,” Patterson said.

Cone is a three-time graduate of Southwestern, completing a bachelor of divinity degree in 1963, a master of divinity degree in 1968, and a doctor of ministry degree in 1984. He served as pastor to churches in Slide, Crandall, Howe, Denison, Lubbock and Pampa, Texas, before being elected executive director of the New Mexico Baptist Convention in 1985.

Patterson said that Cone is honored “for his theological integrity, his faithful teaching and his wise administrative leadership. He is a pastor’s pastor, worthy of imitation by us all.”

John Loudat, editor of the Baptist New Mexican and director of the convention’s communication ministries, agreed. Loudat said that in the 19 years that Cone has led the state convention, he has been used by God “to keep New Mexico Baptists united and focused on the priority of sharing the Good News of Jesus across the state and around the world. There has been no greater promoter of the cooperative efforts known as the Baptist Convention of New Mexico and the Southern Baptist Convention.”

For more information on the national alumni luncheon in Indianapolis, contact Southwestern Seminary’s alumni relations office at 817-923-1921 (ext. 7200).

    About the Author

  • Gregory Tomlin