Anderson University presents 2017 Pastor of the Year awards

Anderson University presented its annual South Carolina Baptist Pastor of the Year awards Nov. 6 at the South Carolina Baptist Pastors Conference at Shandon Baptist Church.

The awards were established in 2011 to honor outstanding pastors and are based on the following criteria:

  • Having served in the South Carolina Baptist Convention for at least three years
  • Having been a strong supporter of the Cooperative Program
  • Having been a model of pastoral faithfulness and integrity

The awards were presented in four categories:

  1. The John E. White Award (presented to a pastor of a church with up to 300 members) went to Johnny McDaniel, pastor of Greenwood Baptist Church in Florence Baptist Association. Last summer McDaniel led the church on its first foreign mission trip in many years, to Jamaica. Eighteen people served in VBS and a sports camp in two rural churches. The trip has led to a partnership with those mission churches in Jamaica for the next three to four years. McDaniel said, “When church people work together in unity, allowing God to use their different gifts for His glory in making disciples of all nations, the pastor of that church can hardly control his excitement.”
  2. The John Edward Rouse Award (presented to a pastor of a church with 301 to 1,000 members) went to Lebron Crisp, founding pastor of Living Water Baptist Church in Waccamaw Association. For 28 years, Living Water has been a strong mission-focused church that gives 20 percent of its budget to missions — 10 percent for Cooperative Program, 2.5 percent for its local association, and 7.5 percent for local and international church planting (and sending mission teams to assist). Crisp said, “Church planting has become an emerging passion for my ministry. It is exciting to watch as our church family catches the vision, and to see how God is working through our efforts.”
  3. The W.B. Johnston Award (presented to a pastor of a church with more than 1,000 members) went to Hank Williams, pastor of Boiling Spring First Baptist Church in Spartanburg County Baptist Network. Under his leadership, Boiling Springs First Baptist has moved from an inward focus to one that is more outward, while developing a culture of discipleship and a heart for stewardship, resulting in giving that has more than doubled. When Williams was informed of the award, he referenced his team and said, “This is our award, not mine. To God be the Glory!”
  4. The B. Carlisle Driggers Award for directors of missions went to Zane Brown, DOM of Colleton Baptist Association. Using an evangelism strategy called Code Blue, the association has placed the gospel of John and an audio presentation of the gospel into more than half the housing units in Colleton Association. Next summer will be the 14th consecutive year that the association has hosted World Changer and Mission Serve projects. Brown said, “It’s not size but impact that makes a church successful. If you have a positive impact on your community for the Lord Jesus, the fruit will come.”

LifeWay Resources and the National Conference on Preaching partnered with Anderson University to contribute meaningful gifts to award recipients.

Pictured, from left: Johnny McDaniel, pastor of Greenwood Baptist Church in Florence Association (who received the award for churches with up to 300 members); Lebron Crisp, pastor of Living Water Baptist Church in Waccamaw Baptist Association (for churches of 301 to 1,000 members); Bob Cline, vice president for church relations at Anderson University; Zane Brown, director of missions for Colleton Baptist Association (for directors of missions); and Hank Williams, pastor of Boiling Springs First Baptist Church in Spartanburg County Network (for churches with more than 1,000 members).