Leadership-BACE-Baptist

Each year the Baptist Association of Christian Educators may recognize one or more Southern Baptist religious educators who have made outstanding contributions to religious education through years of service and life-long commitments as church staff workers and/or denominational service. Guidelines for the selection of the recipients include: (1) worthy and extended service in religious education; (2) recognition of his/her service by colleagues in religious education; (3) broad influence which may include writing and conference leading; and (4) membership and participation in BACE and sister associations.

Beginning in 2017, recipients receive Lifetime Membership in BACE as a part of their recognition.

2017 Recipients

Totopper_BACEpper Reid

Topper currently serves as Pastor of Small Groups at Westwood Baptist Church in Alabaster, AL and as the President of Bill Taylor & Associate’s Church Coaching Division. Topper has served on church staffs for over 25 years including Hunter Street Baptist Church in Hoover, AL, where his small group ministry grew from 800 to over 3,300 in attendance. Topper has also served with Myrick Gurosky and Associates (MG&A) as Director of Church Development and continues to serve as a trainer and consultant with many churches and faith-based entities on a contract basis and is a frequent seminar leader and writer for various publications.

Topper is a graduate of Samford University and Southern Seminary.

2016 Recipients

bruceBruce Raley

Bruce currently serves as the Executive Pastor, First Baptist Church, Hendersonville, TN. Bruce’s previous ministry experiences include:
1982-1996, Minister of Education, Walnut Street Baptist Church, Jonesboro, AR; 1996-2006 Teaching Pastor, First Baptist, Panama City, FL; 2006-2015 Director of Church Education, LifeWay Christian Resources, Nashville, TN

Bruce earned a Bachelors in Journalism, 1983 and a Masters in Mass Communication, 1985 from Arkansas State University, Jonesboro, AR. In 2013, Bruce earned the Executive Leadership Certificate from Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN.

darylDaryl Eldridge

Daryl is the President of Rockbridge Seminary, a fully-online seminary built on the five purposes of the church. He has served as the Dean of the School of Educational Ministries at Southwestern Baptist theological Seminary and faculty member from 1984 through 2003.

Before seminary teaching and through his faculty career, he has served in the local church as a youth pastor, minister of education and music, and minister of spiritual development. He is the editor of the textbook, The Teaching Ministry of the Church and is the author of numerous articles and curriculum materials. He has taught internationally, including assignments in Kenya, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Uzbekistan, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. He is a sought-after speaker on trends in the church, servant leadership, and spiritual development.

Daryl earned a BA (Biology and Chemistry) in 1973 from Drury College, Springfield, MO and an MARE in 1977 and a PhD (Foundations of Education) in 1985 from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, TX.

keithKeith Wilkinson

Keith is currently the Director of Older Singles Sunday School, Quail Springs Baptist Church, Oklahoma City, OK. Keith’s previous ministry experiences include: 1965-1969, Pastor, Crown Heights Baptist Church, Woodward, OK.; 1969-1972, Director of Associational Missions, Chickasaw (now Grady) Baptist Association, Chickasha, OK.; 1972-1975, Director Youth Sunday School/VBS, Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, OK.; 1981-1983, Field Services Coordinator, Sunday School, Baptist Sunday School Board (LifeWay), Nashville, TN.; 1983-1997, Director, Sunday School Department, Mississippi Baptist Convention Board, Jackson, MS.; 1997-2007, Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma in various positions including: Sunday School/

Past Recipients:

Allen W. Graves 1980

William R. Bumpas 1982

Joe Davis Heacock 1982

Ernest J. Loessner 1982

J.P. Edmunds 1983

Josephine Scaggs 1983

J. Marvin Crowe 1984

A. V. Washburn 1984

Gaines S. Dobbins (posthumously) 1985

Elmer Bailey 1985

Phillip B. Harris 1986

Margaret Sisemore 1987

LeRoy Ford 1989

Jack H. Naish 1990

Donald Trotter (posthumously) 1990

Keener Pharr 1991

Will Beal 1994

E. Mavis Allen 1995

Lucien Coleman 1995

Merle T. Basden 1996

Charles Lowry 1997

Harry Piland 1997

William Cromer, Jr. 1998

Robert S. Cook 1999

Hazel Rodgers (posthumously) 2000

Alva Parks 2001

L. David Cunningham 2002

Bobbie S. Patterson 2002

Jerry Stubblefield 2003

Bob Fuston 2005

Gail Motley 2007

Morlee Maynard 2009

David Simon 2011

Rick Yount 2012

Margaret Lawson 2013

Judy Morris 2014

J. Earl Mead 1981

John K. Durst 1982

Gracie Knowlton 1982

Russell Hooper Dilday 1983

R. Othal Feather 1983

William H. Souther 1983

Findley B. Edge 1984

M. Russell Noel 1984

W. L. Howse, Jr. (posthumously) 1985

J. M. Price (posthumously) 1985

John T. Sisemore 1987

Alma Hunt 1988

Annie Ward Byrd 1990

Norman Godfrey (posthumously) 1990

Thurman B. Prewett 1990

C. Winfield Rich 1993

Joe Haynes 1994

Bob Edd Shotwell 1995

Russell Comer 1996

William E. Young 1996

Harold Souther 1997

Henry E. Love 1998

J. Roger Skelton 1998

Lloyd T. Householder 1999

Joe Burnette 2000

James D. Williams 2001

Robert L. Feather 2002

Bernard Spooner 2003

Lawrence Klempnauer 2004

Charles Tidwell 2006

William (Bill) Gambrell 2008

Lucy Dorr 2010

Ron Moore 2011

John Boone 2013

Tim Holcomb 2014

Cathy Jeffcoats 2015