GLORIETA, N.M. (BP)–The 10th annual Black Southern Baptist Convention Heritage Award was presented July 4 to James W. Culp Sr., who is retiring this year as coordinator of the black church development division of the Baptist General Convention of Texas.
The award was presented at a banquet during Black Church Leadership Week, July 2-6, at LifeWay (N.M.) Glorieta Conference Center.
Culp joined the BGCT in 1982 as black church relations consultant when the state convention included approximately 80 predominantly African American churches. Today, more than 700 African American churches are affiliated with the BGCT.
“Rev. Culp’s Southern Baptist work began at a time when working to deepen relationships with African American Baptists was not a popular venture,” the text of the award presentation stated.
Andre Punch, BGCT black church consultant, commended Culp for persevering. “His main goal has been to draw people together to draw them to Jesus Christ.”
In receiving the award, Culp said, “We’ve come a long way and we have a long way to go. The Bible says every nation under the sun, every language, every ethnic group will be in heaven. We’d better learn to love one another here.”
Elgia Wells, director of black church leadership at LifeWay Christian Resources, emphasized the importance of leaders such as Culp who laid the foundation for growth among African American churches affiliated with the SBC. He said the current total has surpassed 2,900 nationwide.
Approximately 1,400 people attended Black Church Leadership Week, with Greenforest Community Baptist Church, Decatur, Ga., leading all churches present with more than 70 in attendance. The conference was sponsored by five SBC entities — LifeWay Christian Resources, North American Mission Board, International Mission Board, Woman’s Missionary Union and Woman’s Missionary Union.
(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: JAMES W. CULP SR.