Seventeen North Carolina Baptists were recognized for their persistent dedication to the state during the 14th annual Baptist Heritage Awards ceremony April 8 at the Grandover Resort & Conference Center in Greensboro.
William Hoffman Jr., director of development at the International Mission Board, was the keynote speaker. “Legacies are things for which someone is remembered. It is the things that really matter to them,” Hoffman said. “The folks here are being recognized because of their lifetime of supporting and giving time, talents and resources to the things that are part of God’s kingdom.”
The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina and the N.C. Baptist Foundation co-sponsor the annual ceremony. This year 12 agencies presented awards to the following individuals for their contributions to the state’s Baptist entities.
Mars Hill University honored Max Burgin.
If you want to see Max Burgin’s heart, ask him about the people of India.
He will tell you a story of abject poverty, want and hopelessness. He will tell you about children who wander the slums of Bangalore in search of food and shelter, and families in Bangarapet who are too poor to care for their own.
And then, with eyes alight and hands gesturing at points of emphasis, he will tell you about the providence of God, which he believes has led him and his wife, Mickie, to involvement in three ministries which seek to better lives for some of India’s poorest people.
Dr. Max Burgin, a 1954 graduate of Mars Hill, is in his second term as a university trustee and currently serves as chair of the building and grounds committee. He retired as an army chaplain after a much decorated 30-year military career during which he attained the rank of colonel.
For more than 20 years, he served as the pastor of Lattimore Baptist Church in Cleveland County. Today, he continues to raise cattle on his Ellenboro farm while enjoying family time with Mickie, his daughter, Dr. Kelli Mayfield, son Edward and grandchildren.
For a life of service to the military, to his church and to the people of India, Burgin was named as the 2008 alumnus of the year at Mars Hill College.
Gardner-Webb University honored Grady and Jo Duncan.
This Belmont couple will celebrate their 55th wedding anniversary in June and just two weeks later, will mark their 55th year as servants of First Baptist Church in Belmont. As active members of their church and community, Grady and Jo have also been generous to Gardner-Webb University with both their time and their resources.
Grady joined the Army after his first year of college and ended up fighting for two years in the Korean War. He completed his degree in business administration and accounting at the University of North Carolina.
Jo attended school at Lenior-Rhyne College, and taught middle school for 31 years in the Belmont area school system; Grady transitioned from a role as a certified public accountant into a position at Wix Corporation in Gastonia, where he retired as vice president of finance.
Grady has served on the GWU Board of Trustees, on the finance committee and in various other capacities since 1978. He and Jo established the Duncan Family Endowment Fund in order to assist students – specifically students from Gaston County – with Gardner-Webb tuition expenses.
Over the years, their giving has expanded to include four institutions in North Carolina. “We started giving, and it became something we prioritized,” Grady explained. “This award was a total surprise. We don’t feel we deserve it, but we are truly honored. We believe that at Gardner-Webb, the best is yet to be.”
The Biblical Recorder honored Mark E. Harris.
Harris’ passion for the truth of scripture has led him to give leadership to many causes both within and outside of Baptist life, including his tireless labors for the passage of the North Carolina Marriage Protection Amendment in 2012.
Harris’ service to North Carolina Baptists is a record of sacrifice and humility. He served as second vice-president of the Baptist State Convention for two years (2008-2009), first vice-president for two years (2010-2011) and president of the convention for two years (2012-2013). Harris served four years on the board of directors of the Biblical Recorder (2007-2010) and has been a strong advocate for the Recorder.
He has two degrees from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest and also served as a trustee of the seminary. He was chairman of the trustees in 2005-2007 and served on the presidential search committee that brought Daniel Akin to the seminary.
He served as the senior pastor of Center Grove Baptist Church in Clemmons for 10 years, senior pastor of Curtis Baptist Church in Augusta, Ga., for five years, and has been senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Charlotte since 2005.
Meredith College honored Mary Nell Jenke who gives generously of her time, talent and treasure to the college.
In 2007, Jenke was instrumental in establishing three alumnae chapters within the Wake County area and served as the chapter leader of the Northeastern Wake Chapter. She currently serves as the 23+ representative on the alumnae association board of directors, fundraising chair for the Networking Angles and is an active member of the Meredith College Book Club.
In 2012, Jenke established the Mary Nell Jenke Endowment to support the Alumnae Legacy Scholarship Fund. This prestigious scholarship is the highest honor available to an entering freshman and funds full tuition, room and board, books, supplies, international study, networking and enrichment opportunities.
Mary Nell has been an active member of Bay Leaf Baptist Church in Raleigh for 21 years. She currently serves the church on the bereavement team, greeters team and the onward Sunday School class. Additionally, Mary Nell is involved with Bible Study Fellowship, where she teaches a weekly course.
This past year, she launched RealTemps, which supplies temporary offices sales staff to the home building industry in the Triangle area. Locally, she is a member of both the Home Builders Association of Wake County and the Triangle Sales and Marketing Group.
The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina honored Jimmy R. Jacumin.
A native of Burke County, he served as deacon, Sunday School superintendent and outreach leader at First Baptist Church, Icard, where he was a member for many years. He is now a member of East Valdese Baptist Church, Valdese. Baptists across the state will be blessed through the Jim and Nancy Jacumin Retreat Lodge, now under construction at Caraway Conference Center.
Since 2001 Southern Baptists have been blessed through the ministries of the Jacumin-Simpson Missions Center on the campus of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary; the center, made possible by Jacumin’s generosity, is named in honor of Jim and Nancy’s parents.
Jacumin graduated from North Carolina State University in nuclear engineering. As missile design engineer for Douglas Aircraft Company, he helped develop an anti-tank weapon and worked in Lunar Landing Vehicle research. He led in the founding of Jacumin Engineering and Machine Company (JEMCO) in 1965.
Jacumin’s extensive career in public service includes three terms as North Carolina state senator representing District 44 from 2004 through 2010. He also served as a member of the BSC’s board of directors, a trustee for Southeastern Seminary, Gardner-Webb University and Valdese General Hospital. Jacumin and his wife, Nancy Nell, have two children and four grandchildren. Their son, Marty, is pastor of Bay Leaf Baptist Church in Raleigh.
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center honored state representative Donny C. Lambeth, a lifelong churchman whose professional career embodies a commitment to service in the spirit of Christ’s love.
A native of Winston-Salem, Lambeth joined the staff of North Carolina Baptist Hospital’s (NCBH) finance department in 1972 and by 1988 had been named vice president for financial services/CFO. He was appointed chief operating officer in 1999 and in 2008 was named NCBH president, a position he held until becoming president of Lexington Medical Center and Davie Hospital in 2011.
Lambeth retired from the hospital in 2012 and currently serves as state legislator representing the 75th district. As a civic leader, he also served for 18 years as member and chair of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Board of Education. A member of numerous additional boards and organizations, he currently serves on the boards of the North Carolina Chapter of the March of Dimes and Forsyth County Hospice and Palliative Care Center.
While regarded as a skilled administrator committed to excellence, Donny Lambeth is equally highly respected for his relational warmth and approachability, his generosity of spirit, his deep faithfulness and his universal appreciation for persons from all walks of life.
The Baptist Children’s Home of North Carolina (BCH) honored Ted B. and Peggy Lanier. Ted’s exuberant personality, commitment to hard work and unselfish service to others is matched by only a few and surpassed by none.
Peggy’s devotion to Ted and his endeavors is evident as she joins him in many of his philanthropic acts. Ted currently serves as vice-chair of the board of trustees of Baptist Children’s Homes and is chair of the finance committee, utilizing his rich experience and deep involvement in matters that are both financial and practical. His probing questions and enthusiastic advocacy for children and adults with developmental disabilities is an inspiration to all with whom he has contact.
The Laniers are active members of First Baptist Church in Sanford where Ted has served as a deacon, on the budget committee and member of the pastor search committee.
The BCH will continue to thrive under the expert tutelage of Ted Lanier with his lovely wife beside him touching those that they encounter with grace, love and hope.
The North Carolina Baptist Foundation honored Richard D. Laws.
Richard’s mother moved the family to Gastonia where her parents were living after her husband’s death when Richard was five-years-old. His grandfather was T.L. Cashwell Sr., long-time pastor of East Baptist Church in Gastonia, where Richard made a profession of faith and was baptized.
A graduate of Wake Forest University and Law School, he has practiced law in Gastonia for 35 years. For 28 years he had his own law practice, but since 2011 he has been a partner in the firm of Stott, Hollowell, Palmer and Windham, LLP.
He met his wife of 26 years, Pat, on a blind date when she was teaching at South Point High School in Belmont. They have two sons, Zeke, a senior at Auburn University, and Ethan, a sophomore at Gaston College.
Richard was recognized because of his 20 years of service on the foundation board of directors. On three different occasions he has served as board chair and has provided countless hours of free legal services. Today he serves as Foundation legal counsel.
At First Baptist Church, Gastonia, he has served as deacon, moderator and Sunday School teacher. In his community he has served on the board of directors of Habitat for Humanity, Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club, Gaston County YMCA, Crimestoppers and Gastonia Civitan Club.
Campbell University honored Frederick H. “Fred” Taylor and Myra Nicholson Taylor.
Campbell University honorees Myra and Frederick Taylor
Fred and Myra are visionaries for Christian higher education, actively supporting the mission of Campbell University and First Baptist Church, Troy (FBC-Troy).
Myra received a certificate in religious education through FBC-Troy via a program sponsored by Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Master Gard-ener certification from N.C. State University. Fred, a native of Vass and a 1964 graduate of Campbell, is the president of Troy Lumber Company.
Myra has served as director of Operation Christmas Child, teacher in the Vota Vita Sunday School class for 40 years, and member of the Sanctuary Choir and Music, Condolence, and Library committees. Myra is also a past chair of the Budget and Finance Committee.
Fred’s activities at FBC-Troy include teaching in men’s Sunday School, singing in the choir, serving as a trustee, member of the Personnel Committee, and as chair of the Deacons. An accomplished musician, Fred is the featured pianist on numerous FBC-Troy recordings. Fred is a member of the Montgomery Memorial Hospital Board and First Bancorp Board. He has also served five terms on the Campbell University board of trustees, including two years as chairman.
Their two children, Louisa and Frederick II, are Campbell graduates. Fred is the son of two former Campbell trustees, Mrs. Alliene Taylor and Dr. Fred L. Taylor, for whom the Fred L. Taylor Hall of Religion on the campus is named. Alliene Taylor received the North Carolina Baptist Heritage award in 2002.
North Carolina Baptist Men honored Bobby and Wanda Temple because of their willingness to give themselves in so many ways for the glory of God.
The joy of serving the Lord began for the Temples with North Carolina Baptist Men in 1989, when they responded to Hurricane Hugo in South Carolina. They have not missed many opportunities to volunteer in hurricane and storm callouts since that time.
The Temples’ real passion is for international missions. They have served on mission teams in Honduras, El Salvador, Germany, Chile, Botswana and the Philippines. In Haiti, they coordinated teams for several months following the 2010 earthquake.
Married for 44 years, Bobby and Wanda are blessed with three children and seven grandchildren. Bobby retired from IBM in 2009 after working 43 years both full time and as a contractor. Wanda retired from the Granville County School System after 28 years as a teacher’s aide.
They are members of Fellowship Baptist Church in Creedmoor where Bobby has been a lifetime member. He has served in various church positions including chairman of deacons, Sunday School director, church treasurer, RA leader, and Baptist Men’s leader.
Bobby has also been a Flat River Association Handyman Ministry and Operation Inasmuch volunteer. Wanda’s involvement includes church and associational WMU leader, choir member and Sunday School teacher.
Chowan University honored Linda Briley Weaver who devotes her time to making a difference in the lives of young people in Vance and Granville counties, her church and especially Chowan University.
Linda’s heart for Chowan is evident through her devotion as a Trustee for nearly 20 years. She serves as chair of the student affairs committee and is a member of the executive committee. She is also chair of the Friends of Teacher Education board of directors.
A generous supporter of many capital projects, Linda is most passionate about developing relationships with the students who benefit from the James Lawson Briley Scholarship.
The greater Henderson area benefits from Linda’s heart for church and community.
She is a member of First Baptist Church Henderson and serves as a member of the library, nominating, membership and outreach, and search committees.
In the community Linda has served on the Board of ACTS (Area Christians Together in Service) since 1995, is a member of the Women’s League of Henderson and volunteers with the American Red Cross. An educator by profession, Linda taught school in Henderson for more than 23 years and served part time for 15 years at Perry Memorial Library.
Linda and her late husband, John Weaver, shared the belief that one can make a difference in one’s community and in the academy.
Woman’s Missionary Union of North Carolina (WMU-NC) honored Charles and Bonnie Wiggs.
Bonnie and Charles retired to North Carolina following 32 years of missionary service in Korea with the International Mission Board. They also ministered in Albania for two years following their retirement. The couple has actively supported WMU-NC in many capacities. Charles served on the Funds Consultants Team helping create campaigns for a more financially secure future, and Bonnie served on the WMU-NC executive board and on the missionary advisory group. She has also served as a mentor for the Raleigh Christian Women’s Job Corps® (CWJC) as well as president of the CWJC of N.C. Board of Directors.
The Wiggs’ have relocated to Denton, Texas, to be near family as Charles faces health challenges; yet, they continue living a life of strength, courage and peace – a testimony of their faith and commitment to God.
The couple met when Charles’ college youth revival team visited Bonnie’s home church where he preached his first sermon on Bonnie’s birthday.
They have three daughters and eight grandchildren.