THE SPIRIT OF THE SHOALS RECIPIENTS: 2009
The Spirit of the Shoals Award
The Spirit of the Shoals Award honors men and women of faith in the Shoals Area.
CSR Ministries inaugurated the Spirit of the Shoals Award in 2003 as a nondenominational recognition of local clergy or laity. It was designed to recognize the unsung heroes and heroines of faith in the Shoals Area. Recipients are selected by a Shoals Area group of Christians and ratified by the CSR Board of Directors.
“We seek to honor Christian men and women often overlooked, who display the character of Christ in life and ministry,” said Don Soula, CSR Board Chairman.
The Lighthouse Award
The Lighthouse Award is a corporate award, given to either a church, a Christian ministry, or a business that displays exceptional strength in serving as a spiritual Lighthouse to the community, region and world.
In an effort to continually "render honor to whom honor is due"
as described in Romans 13:7, CSR invites nominations for
upcoming Lighthouse and Spirit of the Shoals Awards.
For more information on the nomination
and selection process for these awards,
please contact CSR Ministries at 256-335-8288 or via email.
Nominations of Shoals Area residents for consideration
of the Spirit of the Shoals Award,
along with letters of support regarding their ministry, should be forwarded to:
CSR Ministries, P.O. Box 1555, Florence, AL 35631
SPIRIT OF THE SHOALS & LIGHTHOUSE AWARD RECIPIENTS
2009 Award Presentations
Paul Slatton, WBTG
Alfred and Jean McCroskey, Bibles For Russia
Pastor E.M. "Doc" Shell, Christ Chapel
Three "Lighthouse Awards" were given to Christ Chapel, WBTG Radio and Bibles For Russia during an inaugural presentation event. The awards were bestowed by CSR, a Shoals ministry which seeks to encourage unity across denominations and which promotes a variety of projects to further fellowship in the Body of Christ. In conjunction, individual "Spirit of the Shoals Awards" were conferred to Pastor E.M. "Doc" Shell of Christ Chapel, Paul Slatton of WBTG, and Alfred and Jean McCroskey with Bibles For Russia.
The new Lighthouse Award is, in a sense, a corporate award, given to either a church, Christian ministry or a business that displays exceptional strength in serving as a spiritual Lighthouse to the community, region and world. The Spirit of the Shoals Award began several years ago in an effort to recognize Christian men and women, clergy and laity, who have given themselves unselfishly to God and man. Humility and service are the hallmarks of the award. Past recipients of the Spirit of the Shoals Award have included Howard Speegle, Henry Melton and Jane Blair.
Jim Bevis, President of CSR, when speaking of Christ Chapel, said, "You have truly been a Lighthouse to the lost, the hurting, the hungry, the homeless, and those looking for life and renewal." Bevis went on to recognize Christ Chapel, which is currently celebrating 30 years of ministry, as a regional Christian Center whose influence and resources extend across the Tennessee Valley and beyond. He applauded it for being a place where the community of faith comes for counsel, training, motivation, and information.
As Pastor of Christ Chapel, Shell was lauded for his integrity and leadership. Bevis remarked that Shell not only faithfully pastors a vibrant congregation, but also serves as a pastor to pastors, and as a spiritual father to many in the city and region.
WBTG FM and AM Radio was recognized for its ability to cross denominational lines. "Because of WBTG's access into area homes, sectarianism has often been broken, isolationism has been minimized, and the light of life has shone into places unreachable by others," said Bevis.
As President, at the helm of WBTG, Slatton has become a noted Christian-Broadcaster Statesman and a popular radio personality in the Shoals. Bevis pointed to Slatton as an example of effective ministry in the marketplace.
Bibles For Russia was honored for its reach beyond the Shoals with world-wide impact, particularly in Eastern Europe where its goal to establish 1000 churches has almost been achieved. Bibles For Russia conducts leadership conferences and medical missions. It feeds, clothes, and ministers to orphans and street children, supports evangelists and other Christian workers, impacting schools, universities, hospitals, retirement homes, prisons, drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers, individuals, homes and communities.
The McCroskeys who founded Bibles For Russia have led 79 mission trips to Russia, Ukraine and other parts of the former Soviet Union, including to remote portions of Siberia. Thus far, 975 churches have been planted toward the goal of 1000. "To a great extent," said Bevis, "it can be said of this couple that they are 'prophets without honor' in their own country and community. Not that this has been a great concern of theirs, but it has troubled some of us. Hopefully this award will honor them as they have unselfishly honored Jesus Christ, and it will ignite a new awareness regarding this extraordinary couple in our midst."