INDEPENDENCE—Elmin Howell, founding director of the Baptist General Convention of Texas River Ministry, and Paul Stripling, executive director emeritus of Waco Baptist Association, will receive the 2017 Texas Baptist Legacy Awards.
The awards will be presented June 4 at the historic Independence Baptist Church near Brenham.
Led ministries along the Texas/Mexico border
Howell launched River Ministry in 1968 to meet the spiritual and physical needs of people on both sides of the Rio Grande. During his nearly 30-year tenure, Baptists started 670 churches in the region, as well as two Baptist associations, six children’s homes and 67 healthcare clinics in Mexico.
Howell coordinated the work of more than 10,000 volunteers per year and developed a volunteer field staff of 45 consultants and about 900 summer missionaries. Many of these became denominational leaders and foreign missionaries.
After retiring, Howell served three years as president of the board of directors for Mission East Dallas Medical Clinic, a ministry of Shiloh Terrace Baptist Church that has provided healthcare for more than 7,000 patients. At least 400 people have come to faith in Christ through its ministries.
In 2005, Howell helped launch an ongoing Bible study in the civic center in Canton to coincide with First Monday Trade Days—an event that brings 7,000 vendors and up to 300,000 visitors to the East Texas town each month.
Howell, a graduate of Hardin-Simmons University, led mission and recreation programs at First Baptist Church in Beaumont and First Baptist Church in Shreveport, La., early in his ministry.
Pastor, educator and associational missions director
Emmanuel Baptist Church in White Oak, the first congregation Stripling served as pastor, ordained him to the gospel ministry. His other pastorates include First Baptist Church in Joshua, Baylor Baptist Church in Ennis, First Baptist Church of Golden Acres in Pasadena and Gaston Avenue Baptist Church in Dallas.
Stripling received his bachelor’s degree from Baylor University and earned bachelor of divinity, master of theology and doctor of theology degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth. He holds an honorary doctorate from Dallas Baptist University.
Stripling wrote numerous articles for various publications of the Baptist Sunday School Board. His published books include: From Me to You, The Mustard Tree, Turning Points in the History of Baptist Associations in America 1707-2007 and Turning Points in the History of the Waco Regional Baptist Association 1860-2010.
He has served as adjunct teacher at Baylor University and the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.
The awards services and the lunch that follow are open to the public. For more information or to make lunch reservations, contact Becky Brown at (214) 828-5301.