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Cliff Vaughn Celebrates 20 Years at Baptist Center for Ethics

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Editor’s note: This article has been updated to include a statement that was submitted shortly after publication.

Cliff Vaughn is celebrating 20 years working at Baptist Center for Ethics!

BCE’s former Executive Director Robert Parham hired Vaughn 20 years ago, primarily to have him work on creating an e-newsletter. At that time, Vaughn was a part-time employee.

However, Vaughn’s responsibilities quickly increased due to his incredible talents and skills. He has held various roles over the years: associate director, culture editor, managing editor and now media producer.

“One of the greatest blessings I have received from my association with BCE has been the privilege of getting to know and support the talents of Cliff Vaughn,” EthicsDaily board chair Dr. Kevin Heifner said. “Through his written words and videography, he has helped frame narratives and shape discussions in ways both prophetic and sublime for us to reflect and, hopefully, act upon.”

Heifner, a nephrologist in Little Rock, Arkansas, continued, “Cliff’s artistry and message are gentle, much like his personality, but always unwavering in its commitment to what I believe he lives … truth-telling, a concern for all peoples and kindness. In the best sense possible, he is an example of a gentle man who lives the teachings I usually only read about.”

Over his career with BCE, Vaughn has written more than 600 articles published at EthicsDaily.com, offering cultural analysis, commentary on current events, movie reviews and news stories.

He has also produced 10 longer-form documentaries, three short-form documentaries, 100s of in-person and online interviews and numerous promotional videos for EthicsDaily and partnering organizations.

Long-form documentaries “Beneath the Skin,” “Gospel Without Borders” and “Sacred Texts, Social Duty” all received awards.

“Beneath the Skin” won Best Documentary for 2008 at the Black Film Festival of Nashville, while “Gospel Without Borders” and “Sacred Texts, Social Duty” both won Telly Awards in 2012 (silver for “Gospel Without Borders” and bronze for “Sacred Text, Social Duty”).

Vaughn’s documentaries have aired on several television networks, including ABC-TV, Atlanta Interfaith Broadcasters, Soul of the South and National Religious Broadcasters.

Different Books, Common Word” even caught the attention and earned the praise of actor Denzel Washington, who viewed it on an ABC-TV broadcast in 2010.

Zach Dawes Jr. describes working with Vaughn. “It’s been a privilege to work with Cliff for the past roughly 10 years – the first few years as a columnist and then as a colleague for the past seven years. Cliff is creative, insightful, even-keeled and a lot of fun to be around. I’m continually amazed at the high-quality work he produces, weaving together compelling narratives about people of faith making a positive impact in the world. I’m grateful to call him a friend.”

More recently, Vaughn produced EthicsDaily’s first narrative podcast. As executive producer of “Brother Molly,” Vaughn traveled across the country, conducted hours of interviews and spent still more hours in the editing room. “Brother Molly” will be released on March 24.

“Working with Cliff Vaughn on the ‘Brother Molly’ project has allowed me to witness his storytelling genius, his fine attention to detail and his generosity of spirit as he casts his light on another,” said the podcast’s main character, Central Baptist Theological Seminary President Molly T. Marshall, who will retire at the end of this academic year. “His research is impressive; he even went to my favorite monastery with me!”

Marshall’s praise of Vaughn’s filmmaking skills and process was echoed by Pam Durso, executive director of Baptist Women in Ministry and the newly appointed president of Central Seminary who will begin her tenure in June.

“One of the highlights for me in the last two years has been working with Cliff Vaughn to produce films about women pastors,” she said. “Cliff is a gifted videographer — his use of the camera and his film editing skills are phenomenal, but his greatest gift is his ability to tell a story, to weave words and images, interviews and visuals into inspiring, compelling, heartwarming and heartbreaking stories.”

“I’m forever grateful to have had a glimpse into how he takes ordinary film footage and creates it into sacred stories,” Durso said.

Since assuming the position of executive director at EthicsDaily, working with Cliff has been a complete joy. He brings a calming presence to any conversation, offering wisdom and insight that always promote civility and the common good.

As EthicsDaily evolves into Good Faith Media over the next several months, Cliff will shape the new era of faith-based media productions for future generations.

Happy anniversary, Cliff!

Mitch Randall

Mitch Randall is executive director of EthicsDaily.com.