Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2004-11-17

Seven Alabama Baptist ministers were honored for their outstanding service by Samford University Wednesday, Nov. 17. Presentations were made at Samford's 2004 Minister of the Year breakfast during the annual meeting of the Alabama Baptist State Convention.

Honorees were nominated by their congregations on the basis of service as an effective and consistent model of leadership in the local church, denominational involvement and missions and evangelism support.

"Knowing what their responsibilities are on a week-to-week basis, it is good to have congregations affirm their pastors by nominating them to receive Samford's Minister of the Year Awards," said Dr. Pat McFadden at the breakfast. "Samford is pleased to cooperate in this recognition."

McFadden, pastor of First Baptist Church, Fort Payne, is chairman of Samford's Board of Ministerial Mentors and a former Minister of the Year honoree. He assisted Samford president Dr. Thomas E. Corts in making the presentations.

McFadden acknowledged each winning pastor's individual devotion and sacrifice in their home churches and communities.

This year's honorees in the various categories are: Dr. Ed Litton, First Baptist Church, North Mobile, 1,000 or more members; Dr. Scott Ferguson, Westview Baptist Church, Opp, 300-999 members; Dr. Paul Smith, Romar Beach Baptist Church, Orange Beach, 300 or less members; Dr. Gary Farley, Director of Missions, Pickens Association, Town and Country Association; Ed Cruce, Director of Missions, Bessemer Association, Metro Association; Don Whigham, Silas First Baptist Church, bi-vocational; and Charles R. Woods, Sr., First Baptist Church, Albertville, retired.

Each received a plaque recognizing their achievement.


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. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 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 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.