Sixteen North Carolina Baptists from across the state were recognized for their accomplishments and dedication through the years during the 12th annual Baptist Heritage Award ceremony at the Grandover Resort & Conference Center in Greensboro April 24.
“You are being recognized today because of things that you have done for the good of humanity, and because of your love for God and for the advancement of the work for his kingdom,” said Milton A. Hollifield, Jr., executive-treasurer director of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC).
The event is co-sponsored by the BSC and N.C. Baptist Foundation. This year 12 organizations presented awards to the following individuals for their contributions through the years. View the photo gallery of Heritage Award recipients here.
Woman’s Mission Union of N.C.
WMU-N.C. honored Ellen D. Tabor. Many of Tabor’s accomplishments happened after she and her husband, Charles, retired from 20 years of medical missionary service in South Korea.
Tabor helped organize the N.C. Baptist Nursing Fellowship on Feb. 12, 1983. Later that year, she served as the founding president of the national Baptist Nursing Fellowship in Oklahoma City, Okla. Tabor helped ensure that N.C. Baptist nurses were trained and ready to respond to missions opportunities nationally and internationally. She and Charles established the Baptist Nursing Fellowship Trust through the North Carolina Baptist Foundation and a Charitable Remainder Annuity Trust at the WMU Foundation. They live in Winston-Salem where they are members of First Baptist Church. They have two sons and five grandchildren.
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center honored Stephen L. Robertson. Robertson is the president and CEO of The Robertson Group and Affiliated Companies, Robertson Airtech International, Inc., Robertson and Isenhour Properties, Inc., Whispering Oaks Farms, LLC and TurboSlot Sports, Inc. He serves on the boards of several foundations and non-profit organizations both in the U.S. and internationally. He also is a trustee for North Carolina Baptist Hospital and the Medical Center. In his fourth term as a Hospital trustee, he also serves on the Medical Center Board. He is past chairman of both the hospital and Medical Center Boards. Robertson led a restructuring process that successfully combined North Carolina Baptist Hospital and Wake Forest University Health Sciences into an integrated health system with a single CEO. Robertson is member of Calvary Baptist Church in Winston-Salem. He is a deacon and an active member of the missions committee. He and his wife, Jeanne, live in Mocksville, N.C. They have four children and nine grandchildren.
N.C. Baptist Men
N.C. Baptist Men honored J.E. and Betsy Skinner. In 1995, while still working part-time, J. E. and Betsy Skinner became increasingly interested in international missions work. The couple has been involved in international mission trips to Ukraine, Honduras, Israel, Kosovo, Puerto Rico, Kenya and Mozambique. They also have been involved as leaders in the disaster relief ministry of N.C. Baptist Men. They have been involved with providing meals, recovery and numerous long-term rebuilding efforts from various disasters. Their dedication to relief ministry has enabled them to lead and coordinate efforts to help others left in the wake of Hurricane Floyd, Hurricane Katrina, the April 2011 tornados and Hurricane Irene. The Skinners are members of Memorial Baptist in Williamston, N.C.
N.C. Baptist Foundation
N.C. Baptist Foundation honored Tom and Betty Bodkin. During the last 45 years Tom served as pastor and associate pastor of churches in the state. Betty taught piano students, led vocal and hand bell choirs, as well as served as church accompanist. Tom served two terms on the Baptist State Convention of N.C. General Board where he served as vice president as well as chair of the Budget committee and Missions Committee. He has served two terms on the N.C. Baptist Foundation board, chairing its board in 2009. He continues to serve on the Foundation’s Loan Committee. Betty has served on the BSC General Board and the Executive Committee. She was president of the Council on Christian Higher Education. Together, they led senior adult events at Caraway and in several states for 11 years.
Meredith College in Raleigh honored Fred Williams. He and his wife, Vida, have been generous supporters of the college, located in Raleigh, through the years. Williams received his undergraduate degree from Wake Forest College, now Wake Forest University. He then went on to get a law degree. In 1946, he moved to Greensboro and joined First Baptist Church. There he served as a deacon, chair of several committees and a Sunday School teacher. He was instrumental in developing Well Spring Retirement Community where he now lives. Committed to women’s education, he served on the Meredith College Board of Trustees from 1960 – 2004. As a trustee he served on the Business and Finance, Development and Executive Committees. His wife, Vida, graduated from Meredith in 1937. To honor Vida, who passed away in 1996, Fred established the Vida Thompson Williams Scholarship.
Mars Hill College
Mars Hill College honored M. Kyle Carver Sr. He is an alumnus, a trustee and a volunteer leader at Mars Hill College in Mars Hill. Carver joined the Board of Trustees in 1978. He has chaired numerous board committees, and provided leadership as chair of the board during a time of transition in the college’s history. He has been a member at Newfound Baptist Church for 60 years. He currently serves as vice chair of the deacons and president of the church’s Baptist Men group. In the Buncombe Baptist Association, Carver has served on the Finance Committee and as assistant treasurer, chair of the administrative team, and in the rest area and WNC Mountain State Fair Ministry. He has served in disaster relief and construction in N.C., and other states. Professionally, Carver has taught middle school science for more than 30 years. He served four terms on the N.C. Council for Exceptional Children and was awarded the Distinguished Middle School Science Teacher of N.C. in 2007.
Gardner-Webb University honored Bill Masters. He grew up in Easley, S.C. He played baseball for Clemson University and in a semi-pro league. He also served in the U.S. Army Air Force. Masters spent most of his career in the textile industry, where he became a production manager. For 40 years Masters and his wife, Sue, have been loyal patrons of Gardner-Webb in Boiling Springs since its days as a two-year junior college. Their support has contributed to much of the university’s progress since that time, especially the school’s baseball program. In 2008, Gardner-Webb recognized Bill’s support by naming its baseball field in his honor. In 2011, the university presented the Bill and Sue Masters Athletic Facility in the family’s honor, thanks to their $1.3 million gift to endow the Runnin’ Bulldog baseball program, which will help support baseball scholarships for decades to come.
Chowan University honored Raymond Hargus Taylor. Beginning as chaplain to the college in 1963, Taylor has held many positions on Chowan’s campus in Murfreesboro throughout his career, including director of denominational relations and chair of the Department of Religion.
Even in retirement, Taylor continues to serve as the university’s historian. Fostering Baptist history and heritage, Taylor was instrumental in establishing the Oscar Creech Collection of Baptist History at Chowan’s Whitaker Library; establishing the Hargus and Doris Taylor Scholarship with his wife; and establishing the Taylor Heritage Lectures and Endowment at Chowan with her as well. Taylor’s interest in historical research and writing and genealogy has led him to numerous accomplishments and related leadership roles in Southern Baptist life.
Taylor resides in Murfreesboro with Doris, his wife of 58 years. They have two children and five grandchildren. The Taylors are members of Murfreesboro Baptist Church.
Campbell University honored Robert “Bob” and Barbara Whiteman of Raleigh. The Whiteman’s were recognized for giving their time, leadership and resources to Campbell University in Buies Creek. Having previously served on Campbell’s Presidential Board of Advisors, Bob joined the Campbell Board of Trustees in 2006. The couple was instrumental in bringing about the public phase of the fundraising efforts for the Anna Gardner and Robert B. Butler Chapel on the Campbell University campus. The Whitemans are members of Hayes Barton Baptist Church in Raleigh, where they are active in many leadership roles. Bob’s church activities have included serving as a deacon and Sunday School teacher. He’s been active with N.C. Baptist Men and served on various church committees. Barbara is active in Sunday School, has also served on numerous committees, and she has been active in WMU. She currently serves as a deacon. They have two sons.
The Biblical Recorder honored D.E. “Del” Parkerson. A longtime pastor and state leader, Parkerson continues to serve as an interim pastor in his retirement. He was first vice president of the Baptist State Convention of N.C. (1977-78 and 1978-79). He served on the General Board and Executive Committee. He has led four N.C. Baptist churches and one in Georgia. Since his retirement from First Baptist Church of Sanford, he has served as an interim pastor in nearly a dozen churches. He has also participated in his association and in a variety of community leadership positions. Parkerson previously was on the Board of Directors for the Biblical Recorder and served as chairman of the board for three years. He currently writes “The Paper Pulpit,” a weekly column he started in 1958. It appears in several state newspapers and is featured on the Recorder website. Parkerson lives in Wilmington with his wife, Jessie, near their daughter and family.
Baptist State Convention of N.C.
The Baptist State Convention of N.C. honored Don and Mary Ann Warren. Last year they gave a gift in honor of their parents, making it possible for the Powell/Warren Mountain House – a retreat house for ministers – to be completed in September. Don has served in various roles at Parkwood Baptist Church in Gastonia. He has served as a Sunday School teacher, deacon chairman, elder and made numerous mission trips to Honduras and Alaska. Don has served on the Greater Gaston Baptist Association finance committee, as president of the BSC Board of Directors and on the Biblical Recorder Board of Directors. He is currently chairman of the Caraway Conference Center New Beginnings Capital Campaign. He also serves on Southeastern Seminary’s Board of Trustees. He and his wife have been married for 58 years. They have two daughters.
Baptist Children’s Homes
The Baptist Children’s Homes honored Bobby Boyd. Boyd is a trustee of the Baptist Children’s Homes and is described as a “dynamic” layman who has led Woodlawn Baptist Church in Conover in a variety of mission efforts. He has been a board member for 12 years. He has served two terms as chair of the Board. He currently serves as chair of the Programs and Services Committee, which studies ways to improve delivery of services. Boyd – now retired – served as director of Social Services in Catawba County. He helped provide assistance in beginning N.C. Baptist Aging Ministry (NCBAM). He has provided advice, expertise, and solutions to work with referral sources, churches, investors and families. He also has served as a member of two of its strategic planning groups.