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Baptist of the Year

In 2004, drawing on Time Magazine's "Person of the Year" recognition, founder Robert Parham (1953-2017) penned an editorial that listed a number of Baptists to be recognized for their work advancing the common good. He called them "Baptists of the Year." In 2005, a formal "Baptist of the Year" recognition was established with an annual announcement between Christmas and New Year.

Johnson, executive director of Pastors for Texas Children, was honored for his commitment to public education.

Di Giosia, the senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Jefferson City, Tenn., was honored along with her church for their witness amidst challenges to female pastors.

The Cowleys, former longtime missionaries to Nigeria, were honored for their lifetimes of witness, especially during the 1966 tribal genocide in Nigeria.

Marshall, president of Central Baptist Theological Seminary, was honored for her work as a Baptist trailblazer in the arenas of interfaith and intercultural engagement.


Sewell, director of Faith in Action Initiatives at Baylor Scott and White Health, was chosen for his work connecting those with resources to those without.

Leathers, executive director of Nashville's The Next Door, was honored for her work helping women transition from incarceration back into communities.


Stassen, the legendary ethics professor who shaped a generation of thinkers, was honored for his focus on peacemaking.

Flynt -- history professor, ordained Baptist and Pulitzer-Prize nominee -- was honored for his witness in speaking truth to power.


Baugh, president of the Eula Mae and John Baugh Foundation, was honored for her commitments to upholding the best of the Baptist tradition.

McCall, a longtime Baptist pastor and denominational leader, was honored for his lifetime of work on racial reconciliation.

Coffey, then president of the Baptist World Alliance, was chosen for his commitments to interfaith work and religious liberty.

Gore, former vice-president of the United States, was honored for his commitment to linking moral responsibility to the issues around climate change.

Baptists in the country of Lebanon were chosen, as a group, for their resilience and courage.

Montacute, then the head of Baptist World Aid, was honored for his work as a global Good Samaritan. closed the year with an editorial from founder Robert Parham calling for a "Baptist of the Year," similar to Time magazine's person of the year.