Anderson University recognizes the unique high calling the pastorate. The South Carolina Baptist Pastor of the Year Award was established in 2011 to honor outstanding pastors, based on the following criteria:
- Having served in the South Carolina Baptist Convention for at least 3 years.
- Strong supporter of the Cooperative Program.
- Be a model of Pastoral faithfulness and integrity.
The 2016 South Carolina Baptist Pastor of the Year Award was presented on November 14 in the Pastors Conference at Trinity Baptist Church, Cayce. The award was presented in 4 categories:
- THE JOHN E. WHITE AWARD (churches up to 300 members) went to Tony Hancock, Pastor of Iglesia Bautista Nueva Esperanza in the Barnwell-Bamberg Association. Tony planted the church 18 years ago, beginning with zero and today the church has a total of 85 members, with an average attendance of 50. Also Tony serves as Director of Hispanic Missions for Allendale-Hampton, Barnwell-Bamberg and Colleton Associations.
- THE JOHN EDWARD ROUSE AWARD (churches 301 to 1,000 members) went to Marshall Blalock, Pastor of Charleston First Baptist Church. Over the past two decades, Marshall has led our most historic church in a resurgence of spiritual life and vitality. His role in the aftermath of the shootings at Immanuel AME Church has set a wonderful example of racial harmony.
- THE W. B. JOHNSON AWARD (churches over 1,000 members) went to Bennie Durham, Pastor of Marietta First Baptist Church. Bennie has led Marietta to become an “on mission” church in the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Romania, Kentucky, and other locations. Also, he has lead the church be actively involved in Disaster Relief ministry.
- THE B. CARLISLE DRIGGERS AWARD for Director of Missions went to Al Phillips, of Greenville Baptist Association. Dr. Ralph Carter, Jr. said, “Al has radically altered the ministry of this association, has increased enthusiasm for missions participation by pastors, and has cast a vision for what we can do together.”
LifeWay Christian Resources and the International Congress on Preaching have contributed some meaningful gifts to recipients.