Baptist Press, Ouachita Baptist University receive grand prize from Baptist Communicators Association

    April 15, 2019

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    Recipients of Baptist Communicators Association grand prizes or representatives of their organizations included (from left) Shawn Elledge of North American Mission Board creative services; Lauren Shelburne of California Baptist University's Pursuits Magazine; Art Toalston of Baptist Press representing Grace Thornton; Adam Covington of Southwestern Seminary; Ashley Carozza and Rachel Moreno of Ouachita Baptist University's office of communications & marketing; and Cam Tracey of Union University’s office of university communications. Photo by Marc Ira HooksRIVERSIDE, Calif. – Baptist Press has received top awards as a digital publication from both the Baptist Communicators Association and Evangelical Press Association.

    BP also received two grand prize awards, BCA announced at its annual workshop April 11-13 in Riverside, Calif. In all, BP received 15 BCA awards in the competition.

    BP won first place for electronic publication in BCA's overall publication division and, from the Evangelical Press Association, the top award of excellence in the denominational (digital) category.

    Cited in both the BCA and EPA awards were BP editor Shawn Hendricks, senior editor Art Toalston, general assignment editor/writer Diana Chandler, senior national correspondent David Roach, operations coordinator Laura Erlanson and editorial assistant Marcia Knox.

    BP's grand prize BCA winners were:

    – Grace Thornton, a freelance writer based in Birmingham, Ala., exceptional achievement in feature writing for "Mothers headed to abortion get baby-saving compassion," receiving BCA's Leonard Holloway Award.

    – Adam Covington, director of communications for Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, for his BP photo titled "Patterson end of an era," receiving the Fon H. Scofield Award.

    Joining Baptist Press in EPA awards of excellence recognition during its April 7-9 annual convention in Oklahoma City were the online sites of the International Mission Board in the missions (digital) category for and the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission in the Christian ministry (digital) category for

    Also in the EPA competition, BP won first place for a first-person article by longtime missions writer Erich Bridges titled, "A Valentine for Grieving Husbands."

    Additional BCA awards

    BP's 12 other awards in the BCA competition were:

    1st place, news series or package, BP staff, "Billy Graham coverage" and 2nd place, Hendricks and Roach, "Patterson departure from SWBTS."

    1st place, single feature article 750-1500 words, Grace Thornton, "Mothers headed to abortion get baby-saving compassion."

    1st place, single news photo, Adam Covington, "Patterson end of an era."

    1st place, feature series or package, Tim Ellsworth, "Winter Olympics coverage" and 3rd place for "Super Bowl coverage."

    2nd place, single news article, 750 words or less, Roach, "'The woods exploded' amid pastor's fire rescue."

    2nd place, single news article, 750-1500 words, Thornton, "Venezuelans, fleeing tumult, to find aid on a mountain."

    3rd place, first-person column, Hendricks, "No Spartan, but thankful … aches, pains and all."

    3rd place, single feature article, 750 words or less, Chandler, "'Return to sender': Casket proclaims life journey."

    3rd place, single news article, 750-1500 words, Roach, "Chitwood as IMB pursued: 'OK Lord, I hear You.'"

    3rd place, single news article, more than 1,500 words, Roach, "Baptists & alcohol: Is the consensus shifting?"

    Joining Baptist Press as BCA grand prize winners were:

    – North American Mission Board creative services for "First Baptist Church Sutherland Springs: One year after the shooting" for exceptional achievement in radio, television, film and video, M.E. Dodd Memorial Award.

    – Illinois Baptist media for "Graham in Illinois" for religious newswriting, Frank Burkhalter Award.

    – Union University's office of university communications for "Women's basketball locker room wrap" for print media and design, Albert McClellan Award, and "God in the whirlwind - A 10-year remembrance campaign" for public relations and development, Arthur S. Davenport Award.

    – Ouachita Baptist University's office of communications & marketing for interactive communications for "It's [wash-i-tah] social media post," Diane Reasoner Award.

    – California Baptist University's Pursuit Magazine staff, best overall student entry for "Pursuit Magazine, Vol. 8, Issue 3."

    The full list of BCA awards can be accessed at; the EPA awards are at and

    Written by Baptist Press, the official news service of the Southern Baptist Convention.

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