INDEPENDENCE—Missions leader Wilma Reed and Baptist fundraiser and administrator Robert Feather received Texas Baptists’ Legacy Award at historic Independence Baptist Church near Brenham.
Texas Baptists’ Legacy Award replaces the Texas Baptist Elder Statesman honor, presented for six decades by Independence Association to individuals who made significant contributions to Texas Baptist life, particularly in Christian education and missions.
“It’s a chance for us to say: ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have shown us what it means to leave a legacy as a Texas Baptist,’” said David Hardage, executive director of the Baptist General Convention of Texas. “Today is all about an almighty God who gave his son, Jesus Christ, so that we might have eternal life—and that we have a story to tell to the people of Texas, as Baptists leaving a legacy.”
Reed played an active role in Woman’s Missionary Union of Texas since 1953. She served as promotional vice president and longtime chairperson of the Texas WMU Archives Committee.
Author of River Ministry history
She also served on the BGCT Executive Board and helped write a two-volume history of the BGCT’s Rio Grande River Ministry titled With These Hands.
Kathleen Hardage and Martha Twaddell, who participated in the Girls in Action mission program under Reed’s guidance, pointed to her lifelong dedication to First Baptist Church of Cleburne, where she has taught third grade Sunday school 55 years.
“I have never met anyone who could so easily ask someone the question, ‘Have you met Jesus?’” Twaddell said.
The award “has given me the opportunity to reflect upon my life and God’s gracious leadership,” Reed said. She also thanked her family and the women of First Baptist Church of Cleburne who helped open doors for her in ministry.
Feather received his undergraduate degree from Baylor University and his master’s degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
“Yelling the praises” of Texas Baptists
“Since his days as a yell leader at Baylor, Bob has never stopped yelling praises of Texas Baptists,” said Bill Arnold, president of the Texas Baptist Missions Foundation.
Feather served three churches before he became executive vice president of the World Evangelism and Christian Education Fund. He then returned to Baylor where he became the vice president for external affairs. Under his leadership, the university’s endowment quadrupled.
Feather’s ministry led him to become the vice president for the Texas Baptist Laity Institute. He currently serves as a consultant to the Texas Baptist Missions Foundation.
“His enthusiasm was and continues to be boundless,” Arnold said.
He identified Feather as an encourager, always providing “cutting-edge” ideas for Baylor, the Texas Baptist Missions Foundation and his home congregation, Park Cities Baptist Church in Dallas.
“Cherished experiences are given to us by our heavenly Father,” Feather said. “This day will live as a cherished memory for me.”