INDEPENDENCE– On Sunday, June 6, at the historic Independence Baptist Church, Texas Baptists presented the 2021 Texas Baptists Legacy Award to Roy T. Edgemon, former missionary, Lifeway director and pastor, and Richard A. Jackson, Texas Baptists leader and pastor emeritus of North Phoenix Baptist Church.
The two recipients were chosen by a selection committee for their lifelong commitment to Christian service throughout their work and ministry.
“This is my favorite Sunday of the year,” said Executive Director David Hardage, “because we get to honor great people who love the Lord and love the church.”
Hardage began the ceremony with a sermon on Joshua 24:15 about the importance and urgency of choosing to serve the Lord today.
“There is a choice before us. And the choice is, who gets our loyalty? Who receives our devotion? Who gets our heart and mind? Who gets our time and resources? What is the priority for you and me?” Hardage said. “Choose today whom you will serve. Lots of things are calling for your attention, but no one and nothing deserves it greater than the Lord our God.”
An offering was collected and worship was led by Dr. Roy Cotton, coordinator of the Texas Baptists Ambassador Program.
Seeing God’s hand and following His call
Edgemon was honored first. He has served in all aspects of Baptist life, including as an overseas missionary with the International Mission Board, an evangelism planter with the North American Mission Board, director of Church Training and later director of Discipleship at Lifeway, and as a pastor of eight churches in Texas.
Kent Pate, director of Missions for the Rehoboth Baptist Association, introduced Edgemon and shared a message from Dr. Henry Blackaby about one of the greatest impacts of Edgemond’s ministry.
“‘There are so many ways in which Roy’s life has been used mightily for God’s kingdom over all these years,’” Pate read from Blackaby’s message. “‘I want to express my gratitude for the enormous role he played in walking with me to see that the material for “Experiencing God” was published. Roy recognized God’s hand on that material. Only Heaven knows the millions of lives that have been forever changed as a result. I can think of no one more deserving of this special recognition than Roy Edgemon.’”
Upon receiving his award, Edgemon said, “I thank the Lord for all of those churches, and for those directors of missions, and for our Convention and the leadership that this Convention has had throughout its history. This is really a wonderful occasion, and I’m so grateful.”
A focused and unwavering ministry
Jackson was honored second. His lifetime of ministry includes pastorates and interim pastorates of Texas Baptists churches around the state, service as a trustee for Howard Payne University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and presidency of the Jackson Center for Evangelism and Encouragement in Brownwood. He now serves as pastor emeritus at North Phoenix Baptist Church.
Chris Liebrum, vice president of External Affairs at Howard Payne University, introduced and presented the award to Jackson.
“The consistent characteristic of Richard Jackson is he never gets sidetracked. He never wonders what’s the purpose or where he’s heading. He has committed his life and every facet of his ministry to unapologetically proclaiming Jesus Christ. His unshakable foundation is the Word of God,” Liebrum said. “His unwavering focus is the cross of Calvary.”
Upon receiving his award, Jackson thanked his family and shared that he views the award as an honor not only to himself but also to all the places he has served.
“Whatever God has done [through me]... we’re grateful for that. It’s been because of God’s faithful people,” he said. “I used to say I try to be faithful, but I use another word now. I just try to be available. We serve a faithful God. If we make ourselves available to him, He’ll work all things for His glory and to our good.”
Pavers commemorating Edgemon and Jackson were laid in the church courtyard and flowers were gifted by Dallas Baptist University for both families.
Mike Habermehl, interim pastor of Independence Baptist Church, thanked those in attendance and shared about the significance of the church, which annually hosts the Legacy Awards and is home to the Texas Baptists Historical Museum.
“Texas Baptists have played such an instrumental part in the ministry of this church over the years,” he said. “We appreciate your faithfulness in partnership and in maintaining the museum.”
To make a gift in support of Legacy Day, click here.
To nominate recipients for the 2022 Texas Baptists Legacy Award, email Becky Brown at becky.brown[at]txb.org.