Forney pastor, Denton evangelist honored during Empower ’07

EULESS?Over a 33-year pastorate at First Baptist Church of Forney, Jerry Griffin saw more than 1,700 people come to saving faith. Now in his golden years, he’s returned to the church as senior adult pastor, serving alongside current pastor Jimmy Pritchard.

“One of the most faithful servants I have ever known in my life,” said SBTC Evangelism Director Don Cass of Griffin as he introduced him as the recipient of the 2007 W.A. Criswell Lifetime Achievement Award for Pastoral Evangelism.

The Criswell Award, along with the Roy Fish Lifetime Achievement Award for Vocational Evangelism, which went to evangelist Rick Ingle, was presented Feb. 6 during the Empower Evangelism Conference at the First Baptist Church of Euless.

Cass told how Griffin, a Corsicana native, began as a pastor in college and has preached for 53 years. A Southwestern Seminary graduate, Griffin served as director of missions in Kauf-Van Association before returning to FBC Forney.

Ingle, the Fish Award recipient and a Denton resident, has preached more than 1,400 revival meetings in his ministry, including many engagements behind the Iron Curtain and in closed countries in Asia, Cass noted.

A Philadelphia native who was a youth gang leader before a five-year hitch in the Navy that included five court martial cases, Ingle was saved at the First Baptist Church of Victoria.

He is a Southwestern Seminary graduate and has two honorary doctorates.

Ingle devotes much of his time preaching at his own expense in small churches in the upper Midwest and Northeast. He refuses to accept honoraria from these churches, Cass explained.

Also on Feb. 6, the SBTC recognized churches with exceptional baptisms in 2006. By average Sunday attendance, they are:

?Churches over 2,500: Fellowship Church of Grapevine, 2,313 baptisms.

?Churches 1,500-2,000: First Baptist Colleyville, 264 baptisms.

?Churches 1,000-1,500: First Baptist Odessa, 164 baptisms.

?Churches 750-1,000: Seoul Baptist of Houston, 208 baptisms.

?Churches 500-750: First Baptist Little Elm, 69 baptisms.

?Churches 250-500: Exciting Emmanuel, El Paso, 104 baptisms.

?Churches 100-250: Willow Creek Fellowship, Plano, 130 baptisms.

?Churches 100 or fewer: Mount Zion Baptist, Athens, 97 baptisms.

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