The 2019 recipients of the Baptist Foundation of South Carolina’s Dr. Lonnie H. Shull Jr. Legacy Award are Ryan Bellman Eklund and Betty Galloway Eklund (posthumously). The award is given annually to a friend of the Foundation who has demonstrated outstanding support of the Foundation’s ministry through leadership in legacy giving.
Eklund served as pastor of 12 churches over a span of 67 years. He retired from South Main Street Baptist Church in Greenwood in 1995, but he served an additional 16 years as an interim pastor in the Greenwood area. Betty dedicated her life to ministering alongside Ryan, investing in the lives of many by using her musical and teaching skills. She especially loved working with English-as-a-Second-Language students.
“The Eklunds’ leadership in paving the way for a legacy ministry in their church has been visionary,” said Nathan McCarty, Foundation president and CEO. “It is exciting to see how God has used the passion of His servants to impact others today and beyond their lifetimes. The Eklunds provide an example of what leaving a legacy means.”
The Eklunds established a charitable trust through the Foundation in 1986. After Betty passed away in 2012, Ryan established the Eklund Mission Fund to provide annual funding for mission trips at South Main Street.