Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

November 10, 2010


Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

Another convention!  But the expression is one of joy.  We always enjoy conventions where we have an opportunity to see long time friends.  It is a time of reunion . . . regardless of the proceedings and work of the convention.  We did notice this year that those peer friends are less in number.  Many have passed on . . . while many others are just unable to physically attend.

I do not know the number of Florida Baptist Conventions we have attended, but it is a large number considering we have been part of this convention for over forty years.  Whether we look across the convention hall and see an old friend, or meet one another in the exhibit area, it is truly a moment of gratitude.  Gratitude for a kindred spirit of ministry . . . and the knowledge that we are blessed to continue for another year.

Many things have changed in the annual convention.  One is the use of large image-magnification screens.  Wherever you sit, the speaker on the platform is “bigger than life.”  The large screens also provide the ability to make video presentations. 

Suddenly my attention was drawn to the two large screens.  What?  I heard that name!  I know that lady!  And I was captivated!  For the next several minutes the screens revealed much of the life of my wife!  Yes!  It was my Judy!  They presented a journey of her life from birth in Clearwater, Florida through her school years, our marriage and ministry,  our children, and the purpose of  the video.

The purpose was to reveal to all Florida Baptists the diligent and professional researcher she is on Baptist history and pioneer pastors.  The presentation revealed the respect and appreciation expressed for her contributions to Florida Baptist history.  Statistics given of her research were staggering!  From publications of church histories to biographical sketches of pastors!

It spoke of her ministry to youth through the years and her teaching across the state and at Baptist assemblies . . . and her commitment as a pastor’s wife and foreign missionary. It was such a well presented resume of her life.  And the announcement was made that she was the recipient of the 2010 Florida Baptist Heritage Award!

A proud husband!  Yes, yes, yes!  Judy is always there encouraging, helping, and aiding others.  Now all Florida Baptists know!  I am so grateful for the honor that was bestowed upon her.  Such an honor must be earned.  And the award through the years has been presented to professors and historians.  Last year the honor was given posthumously to Doak Campbell of Florida State University fame.  Judy has stood tall among these giants who have helped give direction and attention to the life and history of Florida Baptists!

Research through records that can be well over a hundred years old . . . tracing down family members that might have old photographs . . . documenting with fact the reports given . . . is not an easy task.  Most of us would probably settle for less . . . but then truth can be distorted or missed.  I can testify that Judy never publishes anything that cannot be proved.  That integrity sets her apart from many researchers, writers, and family historians.  This has brought great respect for her work from others!

My lady was honored!  I am grateful to Florida Baptists for their recognition of a special lady!

Judy, I love you and am so proud and blessed to be your husband!



  1. Yay Aunt Judy!! And thank you for this. i spent half the night trying to figure out what the award was.

    Comment by Katherine — November 10, 2010 @ 8:47 am | Reply

  2. Congraduations to Judy on her accomplishments in research. Lawson, many of us are very proud and fortune to have loving wives that support us no matter what happens in our lives. I am very thankful for my wife Mary who has supported me through a difficult year after retirement. I love you Mary. Thank you Lawson and Judy for your prayers and support thru the years.

    Comment by Dudley Henry — November 10, 2010 @ 10:00 am | Reply

  3. Judy has always been one of my heroes….now another reason to admire and respect her! Thanks, Lawson for letting us know.

    Comment by Maggie King — November 11, 2010 @ 8:29 am | Reply

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