Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2008-10-20

Rev. Doug Reeves of Tuscaloosa and Terry Patko of Birmingham have been named Samford University's 2008 Minister and Layperson of the Year.

Reeves has been pastor of East McFarland Baptist Church since it was organized in 1987.

Mrs. Patko is a longtime member of Birmingham's Lakeside Baptist Church.

Both winners were nominated by members of their respective congregations and received their awards during recent presentations at their churches.

Reeves was cited for his leadership through two building programs, his mentoring of young ministers, his preaching and teaching skills, his support of children's ministries and his overall servant's spirit.

"His greatest joys are in ministering to others, seeing people come to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, seeing lives and homes restored, and helping people develop into mature Christians," wrote one church member in a nominating letter.

A graduate of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Reeves is moderator of the Tuscaloosa County Baptist Association and a founder of a group of pastors who minister to preachers in crisis. He and his wife, Judy, have two daughters, Dewana Fountain and Dina Reeves, and two grandsons.

Patko is in her 25th year as piano accompanist for Lakeside's senior adult choir, The New Life Singers. She also has been an accompanist for other groups and plays the French horn in the church orchestra.

She was praised for her sewing skills, which she has used to make baby shirts for Children's Hospital, items for migrant workers, Christmas stockings for the Birmingham Baptist Association, and robes for Lakeside's kindergarten graduates.

She works with Carpenters for Christ, Bible Drill classes and Vacation Bible School. A 31-year member of Woman's Missionary Union, she teaches Sunday School to classes spanning ages 4 to 70. She and her husband, Andy, have a daughter, Christine.

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.