Lunsford receives NC Baptist Heritage Award

by Chad Austin, BSCNC Communications
Thursday, April 19, 2018 | 120 days old

Fred B. Lunsford, longtime director of missions for the Truett Baptist Association in western North Carolina, received a 2018 Heritage Award from the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC) in recognition for his contributions to North Carolina Baptist life.

Lunsford and other award recipients were honored at the 18th annual North Carolina Baptist Heritage Award luncheon, held Tuesday, April 10 at the Grandover Resort and Conference Center in Greensboro. The award ceremony was cosponsored by the BSCNC and the N.C. Baptist Foundation.

The North Carolina Baptist Heritage Award recognizes individuals and couples who represent exemplary service and giving to organizations associated with the Baptist state convention.

Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSCNC executive director-treasurer, presented Lunsford with the award.

Although Lunsford considers himself a mountain preacher, his influence extends far beyond the mountains he calls home.

Born and raised on a farm in Marble, N.C., he trusted Christ at an early age and surrendered to the ministry after serving in the U.S. Army during World War II. After pastoring churches in western North Carolina and north Georgia, Fred became director of missions for the Truett Baptist Association, a position he held for 26 years. 

The Southern Baptist Convention’s (SBC) Home Mission Board (now North American Mission Board) recognized Lunsford as Director of Missions of the Year for the eastern United States in 1987. That same year, he was recognized with a lifetime service award from the SBC’s seminary extension ministry.

He is known for conducting numerous Sunday School revivals across North Carolina. 

Following his “retirement” from the Truett Association at age 65, Lunsford returned to local church ministry and pastored until a few years ago. Today, at 93, he still teaches a Sunday night Bible study at Vengeance Creek Baptist Church, the same church he attended as a youth. “They won’t let me give it up,” he said.

A lifelong supporter of the Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina, Lunsford was instrumental in establishing the Broyhill and Truett homes in western North Carolina. The Baptist Children’s Homes honored Fred with a distinguished service award in 2014. He has written five books and is working on a sixth.

Lunsford and his late wife, Gladys, are the parents of two sons: Dan, who is retiring as president of Mars Hill University, and Tony, a director of medical imaging in Georgia.

Following is a list of other 2018 Heritage Award recipients, along with the organization bestowing the honor:

  • C. Mark Corts (posthumously honored) (Biblical Recorder)
  • David Costner (Mars Hill University)
  • Mike and Quae Cummings (Campbell University)
  • Ernest Leroy and Austine Odom Evans (Chowan University)
  • Kathryn H. Hamrick (Wake Forest Baptist Hospital)
  • C. Lorance and Betty Ledford Henderson (Gardner-Webb University)
  • Sandra Dunlap James (Woman’s Missionary Union of North Carolina)
  • Don and Elaine Scarborough (Wingate University)
  • Ray and Girtrue Talley (North Carolina Baptist Foundation)
  • Lynn Tharrington (Baptists on Mission)