The 11th annual Baptist Heritage Awards in Greensboro
April 5 allowed 13 North Carolina Baptist entities to recognize people who’ve
helped contribute to making that entity better.
Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina (BCH) honored
Blevins, a lifelong resident of Wilkes
County, is a member of First
Baptist Church of North Wilkesboro where he
has held every major office. He is not only
devoted to his church and the Brushy Mountain Association, but he also has a
heart for the children and families served by the BCH. He is a long-time
supporter and has visited virtually every campus and location. His devotion,
along with his wife Marie, includes financial support and his presence, hard
work and encouragement.
It is not unusual to see Raymond arrive on one of the
campuses bringing donations he has collected. As ministry has expanded, so has
His passionate love is expressed especially in our newest
program, the North Carolina Baptist Aging Ministry (NCBAM).
In addition to devotion he is a person of great humility.
The Bible says that “humility comes before honor” (Prov. 15:33) and Blevins
embodies that verse, because he felt he was undeserving of the honor bestowed
on him. This man chooses to focus attention on others rather than having
attention focused upon himself. Baptist Children’s Homes is the
beneficiary of Raymond’s passion, generosity and devotion.
The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC)
honored Milum O. “M.O.” Owens Jr.
In 1944, Owens came to North Carolina
to pastor churches and now, at age 97, has yet to stop.
Owens, born in Aiken County,
S.C., first sensed God calling him to
preach a few years after he graduated from Furman
University. He then went to study
at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and upon graduation became pastor of First
in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
From there he served one year at a church in Florida
and then moved to North Carolina
to pastor First
Owens served in Marion
about 10 years before becoming pastor of First
in Lenoir. In 1960, Owens moved to Gastonia, where he still lives today. He
pastored East Baptist Church several years before founding Parkwood Baptist.
Although retired as pastor, Owens still preaches every Sunday morning at
Parkwood. The church has three worship services, and Owens preaches during the
From serving on the Board of Directors to serving on
committees, Owens has served the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina in
numerous ways. He was president of the pastor’s conference twice and spent a
year in Belgium
as a missionary sent by the Convention.
Owens was instrumental in the process of buying property for
the N.C. Baptist Assembly at Fort Caswell
and Fruitland Baptist Bible Institute. He also taught at Fruitland for a number
On the national level, Owens served with the Baptist Sunday
School Board (now LifeWay Christian Resources), Home Mission Board (now North
American Mission Board) and Education Commission (discontinued in 1997).
Owens and his wife Margaret have three daughters.
The Biblical Recorder honored William “Bill”
H. Flowe Jr. of Greensboro for his
strong support of the Recorder and for his exceptional leadership as a member
of the Board of Directors.
Flowe is an attorney who has practiced in Liberty
as a sole practitioner since 1979. He graduated from Wake Forest University in
1973 and Wake Forest University School of Law in 1976. He attends First
Baptist Church of Liberty where he has
served as a Sunday School teacher, deacon and trustee. He is married to Cheryl
B. Flowe. They have two children, Meredith Flowe and Matthew Flowe.
Elected to the Board of Directors of the Biblical Recorder
for the term of 2006 to 2010, he was vice chairman for the year 2009 and
chairman for the year 2010. He believes the Biblical Recorder needs to be a
strong voice for North Carolina Baptists, keeping them well informed on issues
and focused on tasks that Baptists join together to accomplish.
Campbell University honored Ester H. Howard who has spent
her life dedicated to education and young people. From her years as a classroom
teacher, as supervisor of elementary education for Harnett
County and as a life-long supporter
of Campbell University,
Howard has been an advocate for the enrichment that education can bring to
A Campbell College
graduate, Howard went on to obtain a bachelor’s degree from Meredith
College and a master of education
from the University of North
Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Her career as an educator spanned 43 years. In 1994, Howard
was named a distinguished alumna of Campbell University. In 2010, she was
honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award from Campbell’s School of Education
and her philanthropy has led to the establishment of three academic
Howard has received other honors as well. She was named
Woman of Distinction by the Gamma Pi Chapter of Alpha Delta Kappa education
sorority and holds life memberships in the Harnett County Friends of the
Library, the North Carolina Association of School Administrators and the North
Carolina Association of Education.
At Campbell University,
she has served on the Trustee and Advisory boards, as president of the Harnett
County Loyalty Campaign and Cape Fear Friends of the Fine Arts. She has
received the Presidential Medallion for her contributions to Christian higher
Chowan University honored R. Clayton Lewis. Born in 1930 in
Green Sea, S.C., a progressive community in Horry County, Lewis attended high
school at Carlisle Military School in Bamberg, S.C.
Religion was his intended major when he was a freshman at Wake
Forest but he later changed to
history and education.
He did graduate work at East Carolina
and UNC-Chapel Hill. Counting his two years in the U.S. Army, he had a 43-year
career in education — 14 in public schools and 27 at Chowan. Lewis believes
there are similarities between the work of educators and ministers. He’s
integrated the Golden Rule, self-management and citizenship into his teaching.
Lewis fell in love with Chowan. He and his wife, Mary Alice,
along with other faculty/staff and spouses contributed to campaigns for
construction and renovations. He and his wife endowed four scholarships and
continue to donate to the Lewis Student Development Trust Fund. Their son,
Superior Court Judge Hugh Lewis, graduated from Chowan and has two sons.
The Lewises are active members of Myers
Park Baptist Church.
Fruitland Baptist Bible Institute (FBBI) honored John Foulds
Rymer, who lives in Hendersonville,
for his years of service to Fruitland Baptist Bible Institute.
Rymer was born on October
25, 1928, in Irwin, Pa.
After graduating high school in 1946, Rymer attended Bob
where he completed a bachelor degree and master of divinity degree. He also
completed graduate work for the doctor of ministry at Southeastern Seminary. Rymer holds an honorary doctorate from Fredericksburg Bible Institute in Fredericksburg,
Rymer served several churches in Henderson
County. He was pastor at Mills
River Baptist Church for five years. He was at Etowah Baptist Church for 30
years. He also pastored Shaws Creek Baptist Church.
Rymer began teaching at FBBI in 1953. During his tenure as
professor at FBBI, Rymer taught church history, English, minor prophets,
theology and old testament. He became the academic vice-president in 1990 and
served in the position until 1994. He was on the Board of Directors of the
Baptist State Convention of North Carolina and served eight terms as moderator
of the Carolina Baptist Association.
He and Velma have been married 55 years.
honored Frank Alberto Stewart.
Stewart was born in Barranquilla,
Colombia. He was educated
in American schools and moved to the United States in 1982 to pursue his
college education. His career began with a bachelor’s degree in business
administration from the University of
North Carolina at Charlotte.
He received his citizenship to the United
States in 1992, and currently lives in Gastonia
with his wife, Michelé. They have three sons, Philip Andrew, “Drew”; Frank
Alexander, “Alex”; and Christian Paul.
He and his family are active members of Bethlehem
Church in Gastonia.
Stewart founded Ultra Machine & Fabrication in 1989. Over the last 21 years, the company has evolved into an
accomplished precision contract manufacturer with several divisions.
Stewart’s leadership and commitment to excellence is carried
over into the community, serving in various capacities including: Gardner-Webb
University Trustee and President’s Advisory Board, First National Bank Advisory
Board, Cleveland Community College Foundation Board of Directors, and formerly
on the United Way of Cleveland County Board. Appointed by Governor Beverly E.
Perdue, Stewart is currently serving his second term on the North Carolina
Advisory Commission on Military Affairs.
Stewart received the Cleveland County Entrepreneur of the
Year 2007, and Ultra was awarded the Cleveland County Chamber Small Business of
the Year 2007. He received the Gold Eagle Award from the Boy Scouts of America
in 2009. Most recently, Stewart received the 2010 Patriot Award, given by the
ESGR for his support of the U.S. Guard and Reservists. Stewart is a lifetime,
sustaining member of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA), and a
member of the National Rifle Association (NRA).
Mars Hill College (MHC)
honored Wayne Higgins, who does not limit his service to one cause, but rather
provides leadership available to several denominational and civic
Since its inception, for example, he has been chair of the
Mountain State Fair Ministry Team, an outreach of the Buncombe Baptist Association. Higgins’
goal is that fair workers and participants alike will see that “God doesn’t
have any second-class citizens.”
For his service through Mountain State Fair Ministries,
Higgins was honored by the Buncombe Baptist Association at its Fall 2010 annual
meeting. Higgins has held numerous positions within the association, including
Brotherhood Director and Board Member of N.C. Baptist Men. He was also the
first layperson to serve as the Association’s moderator.
An active member of First
in Weaverville, Higgins is involved with the church’s ministry at Craggy
Prison, serves as chair of deacons, teaches Sunday School, and leads the
Denominational Relations Committee. For several years, he was a board
member and chair of Western Carolina Rescue Ministries.
Higgins is also committed to service beyond the
region. In 2002, he was inducted into the NC West District Optimist
International Hall of Fame for his active
has enjoyed a career of integrity and leadership as senior vice president with
Carolina Farm Credit in Asheville.
Seeking to give back to the alma mater that he says “changed
his life,” Higgins became a member of the Board of Advisors for Mars
in 1993. After five years on that board including service as chair,
Higgins joined the MHC Board of Trustees in
1998. He has served numerous terms, including one as Board
Chair. Higgins and his wife, Patty, also fund a scholarship for North
Buncombe High School
students attending Mars Hill.
The North Carolina Baptist Foundation honored Ted C. and
Helen E. Stallings.
Through their series of charitable giving instruments, the
Stallings have become the consummate planned givers. Their generosity includes
perpetual support to benefit churches, youth ministries and the N.C. Baptist
Foundation. The Stallings have been “unsung heroes” all their adult lives. Both
are active members of Macedonia Baptist
Church in Raleigh.
Following military service in the U.S. Navy during World War
II, Ted operated a full-service gas station on Hillsborough
Street in Raleigh.
Helen had a 36-year career in the accounting and purchasing departments of
Carolina Power and Light Company. In their 55 years of marriage, they “adopted”
numerous college students and young people in their church as their own.
During recent difficult economic times, the Baptist
Foundation had to cancel its annual Noel Inspiration Conference for lack of
funds. Ted and Helen stepped up and volunteered to financially sponsor the
North Carolina Baptist
Hospital honored Sam P.L.
The distinctive characteristic of Hickerson’s life is his
steadfast love for God and his joy in sharing Christ’s love with those he
Hickerson is widely recognized among the 13,000 employees at
by the way he treats people with heart-felt compassion and respect, from
distinguished physicians to indigent patients. As the manager of patron
services, Hickerson is the “face” of the Medical
Center, greeting and serving
hundreds of patients and visitors every day.
For 29 years, Hickerson has demonstrated immense dedication.
is his ministry, the place where his purpose is fulfilled,” said his wife,
“Sam is an ambassador of good will, integrity and
commitment. Observing him at work renews my faith in humanity and the promise
of care that we make to our patients and visitors,” said Rachna Atwal,
Hickerson’s department director. “I feel blessed to be given this opportunity
to work with a legend.”
Hickerson goes well beyond excellence in daily customer
service. He sings in the Medical Center Chorale. He joyfully plays Santa Claus
for the Medical Center’s Angel Tree ministry, annually serving scores of
indigent patients and families. After delivering the gifts to each family’s
home, Hickerson gathers them in a circle of prayer, thanking God for the
abundance of Christ’s love.
In addition to his full time “ministry” at the Medical
Center, Hickerson is the pastor of New
Light Baptist Church
in Winston-Salem. He has served New
Light for 26 years, leading them to join the Pilot Mountain Baptist Association
and the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina.
North Carolina Baptist Men (NCBM)
honored Scott and Janet Daughtry.
Following their retirement, Scott and Janet approached NCBM
about available mission opportunities. It began with a two-week trip to Sri
Lanka in 2005 to assist with recovery efforts after the tsunami which then
advanced to an additional eight-week stay as temporary on-site coordinators.
Scott and Janet continued to volunteer in other countries such as Nicaragua,
Honduras and Kenya. In December 2007 they led a team to Greece to help with
cleanup after devastating fires. In 2008, they were instrumental in the
recovery and rebuilding of 16 homes in Johnston County following a severe
tornado there. They also served in New York, Montana
Most recently, the Daughtrys left a Hawaiian mission site in
order to serve in Haiti
following the January 2010 earthquake. They have been instrumental in
organizing and implementing a volunteer response strategy there which has
created a structure that has provided medical treatment for 62,000 Haitians and
temporary shelters for approximately 3,600 Haitians.
They have two sons, two daughters and four grandchildren.
Scott is a deacon and men’s ministry leader at Selma Baptist Church. Janet is
active in the women’s ministry there. Janet is a basket maker and member of the
craft guild at the N.C. State Fair, Village
University honored Jeanette Wallace
Hyde was born and raised in Yadkinville and gives credit to Flat
Rock Baptist Church
and her father for instilling in her a strong commitment to the church,
particularly the Baptist church. She readily and eloquently acknowledges that
all of her life’s values, including her commitment to service, can be traced
directly to Flat Rock
Hyde served as the U.S. Ambassador to Barbados,
Vincent and the Grenadines, and to Grenada,
St. Kitts and Nevis
and Antigua and Barbuda
Hyde served as a member of the Wake Forest University Board
of Trustees for 12 years (1995 to 2007) and in 2008 she was elected a Life
Trustee. Her philanthropic leadership for the university and its divinity
school has resulted in numerous scholarships for students from all over the
Hyde has also served on the Boards of Directors of the
following organizations: North Carolina Board of Transportation, the North
Carolina Global Transpark, the North Carolina International Trade Commission,
and the North Carolina Child Advocacy Institute. She is the recipient of
numerous awards including: Citizen of the Year Award, 1998, International
Visitors Council; Outstanding Women in Public Service, 1994, Wake County YMCA;
United States Coast Guard presented her with the highest civilian award for
Public Service for treaty work in drug trafficking in 1996; Civilian Service
awards in 1997 from the U.S. Department of Defense, the FBI, and the U.S. Drug
Woman’s Missionary Union of North Carolina honored Donice
Harrod still has vivid memories of being a Sunbeam in Northside
in Rock Hill, S.C.,
singing a Sunbeam song about “carrying the light to make the world
bright.” Harrod grew up involved in all
age level organizations of WMU, where the seeds were planted that grew into a
life committed to missions.
When she and her husband J.D. felt called to the mission
field, they were appointed to Brazil. While there, she worked closely with
Brazilian WMU and used her bachelor of science in music education degree to
lead music in many churches as well as to be a seminary professor of music at
Seminario Batista Equatorial.
After returning to the United
States, Harrod continued to use her music
ability in churches, associations, and statewide WMU events.
Harrod served on the Executive Board of WMU-NC for 15
consecutive years, serving as 2nd vice president, 1st vice president, and
president for 4 years.
She has led prayer retreats, taught mission studies, and led
in training sessions all across the state. In addition, she has held various offices
in church, associational, and state WMU. Even this past year, she was still
teaching the children in her church about missions and serving on the
associational WMU leadership team.
Having been on mission trips to Brazil,
Africa, and Alaska
while serving through WMU, Harrod says, “WMU continues to open opportunities
for me to fulfill my calling to missions.”
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