NEW ORLEANS — Union University presented First Baptist Church in Hendersonville, with its M.E. Dodd Denominational Service Award during a June 18 dessert reception at the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting.
Bruce Chesser, senior pastor of Hendersonville First, received the award from Union President David S. Dockery on behalf of the entire congregation.
The Dodd Award is the highest denominational service award Union gives. It is named for the man who was a Union alumnus, served as president of the SBC and who was the father of today’s Cooperative Program, the method by which Southern Baptists pool their resources to fund their missions efforts. The award is given annually to a leader within the SBC who displays excellence and leadership in Southern Baptist life, as well as friendship and commitment to Union University.
This year marks the first time Union has given the award to an entire church.
FBC, Hendersonville, hosted Union University’s campus in Hendersonville from its launch in 2008 until this year, when Union completed construction on a 24,000-square-foot facility on Indian Lake Boulevard. FBC also has consistently been the top giver through the CP in Tennessee Baptist life.
“First Baptist Church of Hendersonville is a model Cooperative Program congregation,” Dockery said. “They have led the state in CP giving year after year after year.
“They have been such magnificent partners to helping us move into Middle Tennessee. Our work there could not have been done without them.”
Past recipients include Jimmy Draper (2004), Adrian Rogers (2005), Morris Chapman (2006), Frank Page (2007), Thom Rainer (2008), R. Albert Mohler (2009), Jerry Rankin (2010) and Chester Harrison (2010), pastor of First Baptist Church of Camden.