NASHVILLE (NRB) – National Religious Broadcasters capped off a busy week that included a speech by Vice President Mike Pence with its annual awards gala, March 2, at which plans were announced to celebrate the association’s 75th anniversary at the 2019 convention in Anaheim, California.
NRB President & CEO Jerry A. Johnson noted Proclaim 18, held at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee, was the 75th annual convention of the association since 1944 in introducing a 7-minute video with highlights of past conventions and NRB’s history and an appeal to attend the 2019 convention to launch a year-long celebration of the 75th anniversary of NRB’s founding.
The theme of the 2019 convention will be Psalm 145:5: “One generation will declare your works to the next and will proclaim your mighty acts.”
The video chronicles the organization’s history, with clips from convention speakers over the years, including Christian ministry leaders Adrian Rogers, Kay Arthur, Jack Graham, Max Lucado, Dennis Rainey, Tony Evans, Bob Lepine, Joni Eareckson Tada, Jerry Rose, and others, as well as U.S. presidents Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush.
During the gala, Milestone Awards were presented to Dr. James A. Custer with Right Start Ministries, Voice of the Martyrs, and WCTL-FM Radio, each for longevity of at least 50 years of ministry.
It’s “appropriate on awards night that we see in conclusion the beauty of the Gospel, excellence in all things, and all things to the glory of God,” Johnson said.
The William Ward Ayer Award was presented to Wayne Pederson, a longtime NRB leader who currently serves as an NRB Presidential Ambassador. The William Ward Ayer Award is named for NRB’s first chairman of the board and CEO, who drafted a code of ethics that formed the basis of the association, and honors outstanding and significant contributions to Christian communications.
The President’s Award went to Mike Lindell, founder and president of MyPillow, Inc. Lindell, who just converted to Christianity last year, shared about his new faith and how NRB has influenced his journey and hopes for his business in the future.
“It’s not about the pillow anymore; it’s about Jesus,” Lindell said.
Greg Laurie was the announced recipient of the Billy Graham Award for Excellence in Christian Communications. The honor came on the very day of the funeral for Graham, which Laurie attended, preventing him from receiving the award in person. Instead, he sent a video message expressing appreciation for the award, which was accepted on his behalf by author and literary agent Robert Wolgemuth.
In addition to award recognitions, Johnson recognized Felix Govers, a 23-year-old filmmaker from The Netherlands who is also the founder of Living Image and the producer of a new film, Arctic Light. The film follows the story of a native of Greenland as he shares his story about coming to faith and now serving as one of the only Christians in a country filled with domestic violence, alcoholism, and drug abuse.
Govers shared his desire for both his company and his life, saying, “My mission in my life is to share the great works God is doing among the nations by enabling Christian filmmakers in Europe in using their talents for the Kingdom of God instead of wasting them.”
He also shared about the role NRB is playing in his current success and his vision for the future. In the last year, since connecting with NRB, his organization grew 400 percent, and his team is working on 24 projects this year.
“I am a Christian millennial, and I think it’s the responsibility of Christian filmmakers to share the Gospel of the Lord like you all are doing,” he said. “And I think it’s the responsibility of conferences like NRB to enable us to do so and to encourage us to do so. I’ve been able to do this because of NRB and will be able to do it in the next years because of NRB.”
NRB Board Chairman Michael Little closed the evening, reminding attendees that NRB holds “a great legacy, and we are going to have a great future…. We have much to be thankful for.”
This year’s titanium-level convention sponsor was Liberty HealthShare. Fernando Ortega and Sarah Hawkyard led music.
By RuthAnne Irvin
Published: March 8, 2018