ORLANDO, Fla. (NRB) – Every year, NRB honors and celebrates outstanding facilities, ministries, programs, producers, and leaders at the NRB International Christian Media Convention to inspire others to raise their standards and create more compelling, relevant, and challenging Christian programming.
Dr. Alveda C. King, an evangelist and director of Civil Rights for the Unborn, received the Chairman’s Award from outgoing NRB Chairman of the Board Bill Blount during the Closing Gala Dinner Thursday evening, March 2, at Proclaim 17, the NRB International Christian Media Convention in Orlando.
“We truly have a great commission ourselves,” King told the crowd of Christian communicators as the four-day Convention came to an end. “And as we march forward in that commission, we should still be able to do so with joy. And as I look out over many of you, I am just reminded of how hard the work would be if we don’t agree to do it together.
“May we all as one blood, one human race … continue to join together to work together to glorify God to take back the media for the Kingdom of God,” said King, niece of the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“My friends, we are God’s microphones, making our Creator’s glorious voice known among the nations. Let us continue on in faith, hope and God’s agape love and grace.”
During the Media Leadership Dinner on Tuesday, February 28, NRB President & CEO Dr. Jerry A. Johnson announced Bernard (Bernie) Marcus, a co-founder of Home Depot and a conservative leader, as the recipient of the annual President’s Award.
“He has committed his time, his influence, and his resources to benefit our culture, to benefit our country, to benefit the conservative movement, particularly in this election cycle,” Johnson said of Marcus.
Marcus was unable to attend, but Bishop Aubrey Shines, Senior Pastor of Glory to Glory Ministries in Tampa, accepted the award on behalf of the honoree.
Several other Special Service Award winners were also honored at the Closing Gala.
-- Donald Wildmon, Founder of the American Family Association and American Family Radio, and the late W.A. Criswell, Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas for 50 years, became the newest members of the NRB Hall of Fame.
Wildmon told the audience upon receiving the honor, “God led us into a ministry where you struggle and you fall. We won a few battles but lost a few. But we continue to wage the war. It is a privilege that God has given us to be engaged.”
Jack Pogue, Chairman of the Board of the W. A. Criswell Foundation, Inc., accepted the award on behalf of the late Dr. Criswell and shared brief memories about his last four years of life, during which he lived in Pogue’s home until his death in 2002. Criswell slept in a hospital bed in Pogue’s den. “Night after night after night, he would start preaching [in his sleep],” Pogue said. “He would ask [folks] to come down and give their lives to Jesus. And I used to lie there and thank God for letting me hear that – that a man’s mind is so saturated with the Gospel of Christ that in his sleep he would preach.”
-- Paul R. Hollinger, former General Manager of WDAC in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, received the William Ward Ayer Award for Distinguished Service.
“[W]ith 55 years of great affection for NRB, I receive this award with deepest appreciation,” Hollinger said.
-- Answers in Genesis won the Billy Graham Award for Excellence in Christian Communications.
In accepting the award, Ken Ham, President, CEO, and Founder of Answers in Genesis, recalled hearing Billy Graham preach in Ham's native country of Australia in 1959 and the 1960s. “I really consider it an honor to receive this award on behalf of Answers in Genesis,” he said.
-- Steve and Jackie Green received the Board of Directors Award.
Steve Green, Chairman of the Board of Museum of the Bible, told the audience, “We never imagined 10 years ago being on this journey, building a Bible museum. But we have just felt like God is up to something, and we get to be a part of it. We want to invite all people to engage with this book. This is a book that has impacted our world; it changes our lives. We thank NRB and all that you’re doing in helping spread the word all around the world about this book.”
-- Blue Ridge Broadcasting, Crossroads Global Media Group, and Wayne Pederson of Reach Beyond each received the Milestone Award for 50 years of service.
Also during the Closing Gala, the faculty and students of the University of Northwestern-St. Paul were announced as the winners of iNRB’s CV 24-hour Film Challenge.
In addition, Brod Boyd, Principal of Abram-Leslie New Media Consulting, received the Individual Professional Member Award.
At the Media Awards Luncheon on March 2, the following awards were presented:
-- Best Short-Form Video Award, Willow Creek Community Church, “Road to Emmaus.”
Bob Gustafson of Willow Creek expressed gratitude for “this nimble, small team” of three people who made the video with “high creativity but low dollars.”
-- Best Long-Form Video Award, Amazing Facts Ministries (Doug Batchelor), “50 Years of Evangelism.”
Wayne Leman thanked NRB on behalf of Amazing Facts and described his first time to attend the Convention as an “eye-opening experience.”
-- Best Promotional Campaign Award, In Touch Ministries, “Turning the Tide.”
Steve Chalk said, “On behalf of Dr. [Charles] Stanley, I want to thank everybody for voting us in on this.”
-- Best Digital Campaign Award, The Voice of the Martyrs, “I am N.”
Jim Dau told the audience, “It was a partnership between The Voice of the Martyrs and Cook Publishing but more important it is standing with our brothers and sisters, especially in the Middle East, who are standing boldly for the Lord.”
-- Best Digital Experience Award and Most Innovative Digital Method Award, Answers in Genesis.
Ken Ham accepted both awards and said of the digital work that accompanied the 2016 opening of the Ark Encounter, “I really want to thank our very dedicated team – our social media team and our dedicated web team at Answers in Genesis – for the incredible energy, dedication, creativity that they put into” digital media.
-- International Impact Award, Isik Abla Ministries.
“Former Muslim woman without a voice today has a voice because of Jesus Christ,” Isik Abla said. “All I can say today is I am not ashamed of the Gospel. Thank you, Jesus.”
-- International Media Award, HCJB Ecuador.
“We’re receiving this award on behalf of everyone who works at HCJB Ecuador and especially my boss, Anabella Cabezas, who is not able to be here today,” Geoff Kooistra said.
-- Strategic Partnership Award, TWR’s Hope for Syria.
“I am really honored and humbled to receive this award on behalf of TWR and on behalf of my team,” Nazih Omeish said. “I’m really honored to be part of such a strategic ministry that is speaking hope to Arabs and especially Syrians.”
-- Radio Impact Award, “Uncle Charlie” VanderMeer, Ambassador at Large, Keys for Kids.
A veteran of 67 years of broadcasting, VanderMeer was unable to attend for health reasons. Keys for Kids Executive Director Greg Yoder, who accepted the award on VanderMeer's behalf, said VanderMeer wanted to thank the hundreds of radio stations, families, and children “he’s had an impact on over the years. So to God be the glory.”
-- Radio Program of the Year Award, FamilyLife Today, FamilyLife, a Cru ministry.
FamilyLife President Dennis Rainey said, “I know where I’ve come from. If you only knew my grammar growing up as a hillbilly from southwest Missouri. Amazing how God can use people. And I want to say thanks to Bob Lepine for saying, 'Yes,' 25 years ago and being the genius behind this broadcast. To God be the glory.”
Bob Lepine, FamilyLife Senior Vice President and emcee of the awards luncheon, said, “It was really the call of God to come and be a part of this. I had no idea what was ahead for me. It’s been a great adventure largely because of the generosity of Dennis in letting me share the microphone with him.”
-- Radio Station of the Year Award, 90.9 KCBI, Dallas-Forth Worth.
Matt Austin of KCBI said, “I would like to dedicate this to the memory of John Grable, a man who convinced me a little over four years ago that something truly special could happen in north Texas through KCBI, and that vision is being realized even today.”
-- TV Broadcaster of the Year Award, The Christian Broadcasting Network.
“Thank you from Pat Robertson and Gordon Robertson and the CBN family,” said Michael Stonecypher, who has been with CBN for more than 30 years. “This year is probably going to be the most exciting year that I can remember in ministry, and this includes all of us in this room. There are doors that are opening that I think are going to blow our mind.”
-- TV Messaging Campaign of the Year Award, Decision America Tour 2016, and TV Program of the Year Award, “Value of a Soul,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
NRB President & CEO Jerry A. Johnson accepted both awards on behalf of the ministry, saying BGEA “really is the gold standard, and they wouldn’t say that about themselves. That is the mega-brand for NRB, and we can thank God for it.”
The Closing Gala Dinner was sponsored by NRBTV, Teen Challenge USA, Zion Oil and Gas, and Liberty HealthShare.
By Tom Strode
Published: March 9, 2017