After a gathering that educated, equipped, and inspired Christian communicators to further the gospel, NRB 2022 ended on Friday evening, March 11, with a gala dinner presented by And Then There Were None and My Faith Votes. The celebration featured three keynote speakers and special guests and recognized Special Service Award recipients.
The closing gala featured inspiring messages from Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN,) Ken Ham, founder and CEO of Answers in Genesis, and E.W. Jackson, founder, and president of S.T.A.N.D (Staying True to America’s National Destiny) and host of “The Awakening” podcast. Recording artists and The Worship Initiative founders Shane & Shane played three sets of special music and worship songs.
To open the evening, Troy A. Miller, CEO of National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) introduced Blackburn and shared a few of her accomplishments with attendees as he welcomed her to the platform.
“She is a Christian. She is a strong, strong fighter for our country, and for our rights, and specifically for our religious rights and our religious freedoms,” Miller said.
Senator Blackburn spoke to a concern shared by many in the NRB community: the situation faced by innocent civilians and Christian ministries in Ukraine.
“I fully appreciate that many of you have ministries and are working in Ukraine,” Blackburn said. “We continue to pray for these individuals that are inspiring us every single day with their bravery.”
Blackburn urged the audience to stand up for Christian values, speak out against censorship, and support freedom of religion.
“We need you to keep talking, and broadcasting, and raising awareness to make certain that your listeners and viewers understand that it should always be free speech above censorship. That it should always be freedom above repression, and it should be Christ above all, no matter what,” Blackburn said.
Abby Johnson delivered brief remarks on behalf of And Then There Were None, a closing gala sponsor. Since Johnson founded this organization in 2012, the ministry has helped over 550 abortion workers leave the abortion industry and find hope and healing. Jason Yates of My Faith Votes, which equips Christians to pray, think, and vote in every election, shared a few words and encouraged voters to bring their faith to the voting booth.
NRB Chairman Dr. Frank Wright and NRB At-Large Board Member Debra Fraser presented the NRB Special Service Awards, which are presented to individuals and organizations who model excellence, integrity, and longstanding service in Christian communications.
The recipients of the 2022 NRB Media and Special Service Awards include:
NRB Hall of Fame Award: Ron Harris – MEDIAlliance
NRB Hall of Fame Award: Bob Lepine – Family Life Today
Board of Directors Award: Shannon Bream – FOX News
William Ward Ayer Award: Lois Evans – The Urban Alternative (posthumously)
William Ward Ayer Award: Doug Hastings – Moody Radio
Billy Graham Award: Love Worth Finding Ministries
Billy Graham Award: Troy A. Miller – NRB
Milestone Award: Back to the Bible
Milestone Award: Point of View Ministries, Inc.
Milestone Award: Tony Hart – GOGF Ministries
NRB’s Special Service Awards recognize the most outstanding ministries, organizations, and programs/producers in the world’s largest association of Christian communicators.
Following the presentation of the Special Service Awards, Miller returned to the stage and welcomed Ken Ham, the first keynote speaker. Ham’s message was tied into the focus of his latest book, “Divided Nation Cultures in Chaos & A Conflicted Church.” Gala attendees also received a copy of Ham’s most recent release.
“We have a lot of church issues. There are a lot of problems in the church. In fact, there’s an exodus from the church,” Ham said, presenting supporting generational data. “We are seeing the younger generation being swept away by a tornado of moral relativism that’s ripping through the culture, and we have cultural issues.”
E.W. Jackson, an attorney, politician, minister, and author delivered the second keynote address of the evening. He called attention to 1 Samuel, Chapter 30: 3-8, and read a portion of it aloud.
“This text has touched me in ways I’ve never expected it to because sometimes I feel like I’ve returned to my own country after a long journey, and found it in shambles,” he said.
“Vocabulary has been manipulated to characterize Christians as fearmongers, bigots, haters, and people who are out to do harm to others, when in fact, all we’re doing is pointing out sin. All we’re doing is pointing out the distinction of right and wrong. I don’t know about you, but I’m never going to apologize for standing up for what the Word of God says,” Jackson stressed.
As Christians, he said, the Bible tells us we are obligated and commanded to warn others because their only hope for redemption is understanding the difference between righteousness and sin. If we don’t make that distinction, they have no reason to understand that they need redemption and salvation.
Each of the speakers challenged Christians to remain faithful as they continue to share the truth and further the gospel.
Miller returned to the stage to close the evening and to express gratitude to the people of NRB.
“I love NRB. I’m not talking about the organization, although, I love the organization. I’m not talking about this event we call NRB, although I love this event,” Miller said. “I love the people of NRB. I love all of you. I love to see you every year and to hear about what God’s doing in your life and your ministry, and it’s encouraging to know God is at work out there.”
NRB 2023 will be held at the Marriott Orlando World Center from May 22-25, 2023.