Posted by Philip Poole on 2003-11-21

Samford University honored seven Alabama ministers with the annual minister of the year recognition at a breakfast during the Alabama State Baptist Convention meeting.

"Ministers are an important part of who Samford is, not just as students but those in field who support our university," said Samford President Thomas E. Corts. "We always are pleased to honor those who serve so faithfully in God's kingdom."

Richard G. Crowe of Bessemer was honored as retired minister of the year. Crowe served as pastor of several Alabama churches as director of missions for Coffee Baptist Association.

Bill Morgan of Autauga Baptist Association was honored as metro director of missions. Morgan also is a chaplain with the Alabama Army National Guard.

Jack Wright was recognized as town and country director of missions. He has served Clarke Baptist Association in various capacities for more than 35 years.

Pastors honored included M. R. Bradley of Benton Baptist Church in Selma Association, churches from 1- 300 members; Harlon Hood of Shiloh Baptist Church in Morgan County , churches from 301-1000 members; and Jay L. Wolf of First Baptist Church , Montgomery , churches of more than 1000 members.

D'Linell Finley, part-time pastor of Southlawn and Rock of Ages Baptist churches, Montgomery , was recognized as bivocational minister of the year. Finley also is assistant professor of political science at Auburn University-Montgomery.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 37th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 97th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,758 students from 48 states and 22 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference, and ranks 3rd nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.