INDEPENDENCE–Charles Davenport, pastor and dedicated leader in Baptist denominational life, and Jack Greever, veteran Baptist Student Ministry (BSM) leader, were recipients of the 2022 Texas Baptists Legacy Award. The awards were presented during a worship service at Independence Baptist Church on June 5.
David Hardage, executive director of Texas Baptists, preceded the recognition by delivering a sermon from Isaiah 6:8 on responding to the Lord’s call.
“God calls people., He called me and many of you into ministry. He calls people groups; I think [He has called] Texas Baptists for the work and the mission and the ministry we do,” Hardage said. “We just have to make sure we’re always giving the right answer, ‘here we are.’”
Believers must be willing to go wherever God leads them, Hardage said, acknowledging that many in the room have gone to cities and churches they never thought they would serve in but did because they listened to God’s call for their lives. He said that Davenport and Greever were examples of what it looked like to live out Isaiah 6:8.
“We’re here today on Texas Baptists Legacy Award Sunday, and we’re recognizing a couple of people who heard God’s call and followed God’s call. And so, it’s our privilege today to recognize Charles and Jack.”
Faithful ministry at the local and state level
The first recipient of the award, Charles Davenport, was a pastor and dedicated Texas Baptists leader. He was introduced by Steve Vernon, director of Church Relations & Professional in Residence for the College of Christian Studies at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, who spoke of Davenport’s faithfulness to ministry.
Davenport has pastored several other churches including First Baptist Church in Claude, First Baptist Church in Tucumcari, NM, and First Baptist Church in Tulia where he remained for thirty-one years. After leaving the local church ministry, Davenport joined the staff of Texas Baptists as an Area Representative for Area 1, which is the Panhandle region. He has also served on the Executive Board and as first vice president of the Convention.
Vernon spoke of Davenport’s dedication to mentoring young pastors in the Panhandle, explaining that he himself was mentored by Davenport when he was a new pastor in the area.
“We recognize Charles as one who has lived his life and shaped his world to look like the Kingdom of God [through] the ministry that he has done,” Vernon said.
Davenport thanked his family and ministry partners for supporting him throughout his ministry.
Commitment to collegiate ministry
Jack Greever, a veteran Baptist Student Ministry (BSM) leader who has served at the local and state level, was presented by Jerry Merriman.
Greever’s first role in collegiate ministry was as the Baptist Student Minister for Southern Methodist University (SMU). He next served at East Texas State University, now Texas A&M University-Commerce. He expanded his sphere of influence by teaching Bible courses for college credit. He then followed the Lord’s call and moved to Texas Tech University, where he ministered for 10 years.
In 1968, Greever became associate director of the Division of Student Work for Texas Baptists, now the Center for Collegiate Ministry. He was later promoted to the position of State Director. He retired in 1996 and spent the next 10 years as an adjunct professor at Dallas Baptist University. Greever also published several New Testament study guides and resource books.
Merriman spoke of Greever’s contribution to all levels of Baptist collegiate ministry, explaining that his emphasis on excellence, leadership training and organizational structure has positively impacted every aspect of the ministry.
“His commitment to the campus ministry, to developing leadership skills and relational skills, made a difference in positive ways through the years,” Merriman said.
Greever thanked his family, Texas Baptists and the staff that he worked with during his time in ministry.
He also thanked student ministry itself, saying, “Everything that you give to it, it gives back to you. Every one of those students that have been called into the Lord’s work, or has been called in some capacity, have been part of what God meant to happen through that ministry. It was the joy of my life to serve for those 40 years at the local and state level.”
Immediately following the awards presentation, a luncheon was held opposite the historic church and museum in the fellowship hall. Pavers were also laid in the church courtyard in honor of Davenport and Greever.
The historic Independence Baptist Church, host of the Legacy Awards, is also home to the Texas Baptist Historical Museum. In addition to pastoring the church, Dylan Price manages the museum, which is open to visitors year round.
To nominate recipients for the 2023 Texas Baptists Legacy Award, email Becky Brown at becky.brown[at]texasbaptists.org.