INDEPENDENCE—D.L. Lowrie, pastor emeritus of First Baptist Church in Lubbock, and Charles R. “Chuck” Dooley, former church planter, received Texas Baptists’ Legacy Award at the historic Independence Baptist Church.
The award recipients were chosen by a selection committee for their lifelong commitment to Christian service throughout their work and ministry.
Due to COVID-19 precautions, the two were honored in separate services with family and close friends in attendance on Oct. 11.
Integrity of heart
Prior to the award presentations, David Hardage, executive director of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, preached a sermon from Psalm 78:72 on integrity of heart.
“It’s always been important to be shepherds who have integrity of heart,” Hardage said, adding Christians should be constant in their actions and words on Sundays and weekdays, in church and in the world. God calls Christians to be consistent and have integrity in their work, he said.
“It is not our purpose to impress people with the skillful work that we do as ministers, it is our purpose to please God in who we are and what we do,” he said.
Hardage thanked Dooley and Lowrie for being examples of working with integrity of heart.
“We always try to be very intentional about understanding two things on Legacy Day. We try to be intentional in recognizing that this is the Lord’s day and the Lord’s house, and our first objective is to glorify him,” Hardage said.
“But we also understand that today we have gathered to recognize two individuals in Texas Baptist life who have made a tremendous impact and have established a wonderful legacy for all of us for the years ahead.”
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Serving the church ‘highest calling’ to Lowrie
Lowrie was a pastor, convention leader and teacher during his more than 60 years of ministry. He has spoken at evangelical events around the world and written articles for a variety of Christian publications.
In addition to serving eight churches as pastor, Lowrie also was BGCT president in 1981-83 and held a variety of positions in denominational service.
Lowrie’s oldest son David talked about his father’s legacy and the important contributions he has made to Texas Baptists and the people who know him.
“The church was always his highest calling. He understood that the greatest position any Texas Baptist can hold is to be the pastor of a local church,” said David Lowrie, pastor of First Baptist Church of Decatur.
“And he did all those things because he understood that the work of the BGCT is not the work of the convention. It’s churches pulling together for a greater cause and being the kingdom of God. And so as a pastor, he gave himself to the work. It’s my prayer that the next generation of pastors will understand that we do far better when we are together and will follow the example that has been set for them.”
He also praised his father for making a positive impact on so many individuals.
“When we think about his legacy, without doubt one of the greatest gifts Dr. Lowrie will leave is his influence on other peoples’ lives,” he said.
‘Giving your best to the Lord and his people’
Likewise, Dooley was recognized for his lifetime of service to God and to Texas Baptists. His ministry spans over five decades and includes six full-time pastorates, 23 intentional interim pastorates, 10 years of ministry with the North American Mission Board and 21 years as a church planter with Texas Baptists.
He is the founding pastor of Alamo Heights Baptist Church, formerly Westside, in Port Lavaca; Fellowship of Champions in Spring; Sawdust Road Baptist Church in The Woodlands; and West Conroe Baptist Church.
Debra McCammon, one of Dooley’s daughters, shared about the impact he has had on those around him.
“As we grew in our personal relationship with the Lord, my dad led us by his faithful example and consistent lifestyle. He was always the same man at church as he was at home,” she explained. “He taught me the importance of keeping your word, working hard, serving the Lord with a humble and joyful spirit, but most of all about always giving your best to the Lord and his people. He taught me to trust the Lord to lead me through the tough times as well as the good times.”
Dooley felt God’s call to the preaching ministry at age 16, and he preached his first sermon soon after at Trinity Baptist Church in San Antonio. After he retired from the BGCT, he remained active, serving as an interim pastor of eight churches and serving in leadership positions at River Pointe Baptist Church in Conroe, which he helped plant.
“We are so very proud of all he’s accomplished for the Lord and for the way he has continued to lead his family by example to serve the Lord,” McCammon concluded.
To nominate recipients for the 2021 Texas Baptists Legacy Award, email Becky Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.