Those who love and advocate for CBF don’t expect recognition or awards.
That’s what makes it so satisfying to honor a CBF Advocate of the year. They are genuinely surprised and humbled by the honor. This year at the CBF Advocate breakfast, we gave the second annual CBF Advocate of the Year award to Dick Hurst, a physician, Sunday School teacher and frequent mission volunteer with CBF field personnel.
Clearly moved, Dick spoke a powerful word of inspiration in his brief acceptance speech:
“I’ve been with dedicated CBF workers in difficult situations,” Hurst said. “We who hold the ropes, as they say, need to hold the ropes a little tighter. Our field personnel need us.”
Dick is someone familiar to most everybody who attends General Assembly. He has attended all but two assemblies, according to our records. A native of Longview, Texas, he earned two degrees from Baylor University, including his M.D., and has spent a lifetime giving time, talent and love to those who could be counted among the most neglected.
I see Dick all the time. Not in person, but when I search the CBF photo archives. I frequently see images of him on mission. He has been on medical mission trips to Chechnya, Northern Ireland, Kosovo, Russia, Macedonia, Thailand, Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Brazil, Mexico, Arkansas among others. These experiences were part of this person’s motivation to write a book, published in 2003 titled “Religion, an Accident of Birth.”
When I think of a missional Christian, I think of Dick Hurst. He has been a long-time Sunday School teacher and deacon at First Baptist Church of Tyler, Texas, and maintained an active presence in the community, serving on the Texas Jail Commission and volunteering at the Juvenile Center and helping with his church’s Teen Smart program for at-risk teens.
A former member of the CBF Coordinating Council, this advocate has not been content to sit on the sidelines when his term of service ended. He is a member of the CBF Foundation’s Heritage Society and has continued to serve, give time and contribute in meaningful ways to God’s work in the world through the Fellowship.
Dick checks in with us frequently in Atlanta, reminding us to pray for people in troubled regions of the world, pointing us to other likeminded individuals who might be persuaded to join with us in fulfilling God’s mission, or ordering Gift Catalogs so that he can share them with friends and family.
Thank you, Dick, for all you do to advocate on behalf of CBF ministries. You are making a difference. May God continue to bless your efforts.