The Missouri Baptist Foundation has named two couples and five individuals to its Fellowship of Christian Stewards for 2016. The awards recognize those who have been generous with their life and resources to benefit God’s kingdom, according to MBF.
Virgil and Norma Houston were named Nelson Fellows, an award recognizing faithful, mature individuals or couples who have exhibited whole-life stewardship over the course of many years. Virgil, who died in 2011, and Norma of Camdenton, Mo., dedicated their lives to serving in the local church and doing missions in the U.S. and around the world.
Joe Privott of St. Louis is a passionate supporter of Ukraine Baptist Theological Seminar He received the award for charitable giving, presented to a person who “consistently models generous, sacrificial giving from the treasures God has entrusted, whether great or small.”
Floy Bell, a southern Missouri native, was recognized posthumously with the estate stewardship award, given to a person who “plans wisely to provide for missions and ministry through estate gifts” such as wills, trusts, charitable gift annuities and other forms of legacy gifts. She was recognized for her career in education and for an endowment she gave to inspire Judson University students to become public school educators.
Richard Olson received the vocational achievement award honoring him for “significant contributions in his/her vocational career. He has served as a pastor of churches in several states and as a counselor and seminary educator in various settings, including Central Baptist Theological Seminary.
Lewis and Mabel Rogers of Humphreys, Mo., and Cynthia Saddler of Kansas City, Mo., received the ministry achievement award for identifying community or mission needs and responding to those needs. Lewis and Mabel minister through the Medicine Valley Community Ministry in Sullivan County through Bible studies, worship, Vacation Bible School and a food pantry. Cynthia formed a nonprofit ministry called GLOW (Girls Leading Our World) and is a coordinator pastor at Englewood Baptist Church.
Ryan Paris, an 11-year-old member of Fairfax (Mo.) Baptist Church, received the junior achievement award given to a school-age child who models whole-life stewardship through missions or ministry. Moved by a video promoting the Missouri Mission Offering, Ryan personally raised over $200 by selling baked goods and running a game booth at Old-Fashioned Saturday Night in Rockport, Mo. Pastor Andy Braams used Ryan’s example to challenge the rest of the congregation as they supported the MMO. When the total offering came in, it was almost $2,000, nearly doubling the church’s original $1,000 goal.
Since MBF was founded in 1946, assets have grown to more than $140 million. In fiscal 2015, the Foundation distributed nearly $12 million to causes in Missouri and around the world.