Published June 12, 2014
BALTIMORE, MD — On Saturday morning, Georgia Baptist evangelist Keith Fordham was sharing his faith in Patterson Park, quickly winning a young boy to faith in Christ. It was classic Fordham at his best.
Later that evening he was being inducted into the Hall of Faith by the Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists … a greatly-appreciated but not-sought-after honor.
For 47 years Fordham has testified about the life-changing power of the Gospel “since Jesus walked into my home and changed our family forever,” he told the attendees at the banquet at the Hilton Conference Center Hotel.
The banquet and ceremony, which included low inductee Franklin Graham, was held on June 7 prior to the opening of the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting.
Receiving the award for Graham was his son, Major Edward Graham, who serves as a highly decorated commander with the U.S. Army Rangers.
Fordham shared his testimony with the group, telling of his childhood with a father who was not a believer. But that childhood changed for the better when the family came to faith in Christ.
“Ever since Jesus walked into my home and saved my family I have spent my life telling others about how He can change their lives. It made that great of an impact on my life.
“For 46 years now I have been thanking God for his allowing me to be His mailman, carrying the Good News to those waiting to receive it.”
Fordham, a member of Harp’s Crossing Baptist Church in Fayetteville, has served in more than 1,500 revivals in the U.S. and India. He was accompanied to the banquet by his wife, Shirley.
Fordham has served at numerous levels in Southern Baptist life, including as 2004-05 president of COSBE and, most recently, as a trustee at the North American Mission Board.
Franklin Graham unable to attend
Edward Graham, who said his father’s tight travel schedule prevented him from attending the ceremony, accepted the honor with gratitude. He spoke briefly, acknowledging that he is the only son in the Graham family not to be serving in fulltime ministry.
“The key to my dad and granddad’s success is the local church. That’s who empowered and spread their ministries. It is the church who invited them to come share the Good News in communities large and small across America and around the world,” he noted.
“I pray for the pastors and evangelists who serve together to win this nation for Christ because they are the individuals America needs today – those who have been called to be fishers of men.”
Hall of Faith moves to Nashville
In other matters, SBC Executive Committee President Frank Page extended the entity’s offer to house the Hall of Faith at the denomination’s headquarters in Nashville. The offer was accepted the following day in a COSBE business meeting.
Page said the group’s archives, along with the Hall of Faith, would provide far greater visibility at the national headquarters than they currently receive at NAMB’s headquarters in Alpharetta. The display has been housed at NAMB’s building since its dedication on Jan. 14, 2010.
Page said NAMB President Kevin Ezell offered to pay all costs to transfer the archives and exhibit to Nashville, which is expected within the next month.
“It will be an honor to house these important materials in our building,” he added.
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