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Merrill, Terry, Belz Receive Lifetime Achievement Awards

The Terry White Lifetime Achievement Award, first established a year ago to honor the one often referred to as Mr. EPA for his half century of EPA involvement, was presented to three former editors at the recent Lexington convention. The award recognizes those who, during their lifetimes, have made exceptional contributions to the field of Christian journalism and to EPA.

Dean Merrill has had a remarkable writing career. He has served EPA publications such as Christian Herald, Campus Life and Leadership Journal for Christianity Today International, and he led the Focus on the Family magazine group for many years.

He served EPA as the 1975 convention chairman and as EPA President from 1985-1987 and many times as a speaker at conventions. More recently he has been a contest judge, and he served several years on the EPA Legacy Council. As a freelancer, he has written for some 40 periodicals, mostly EPA members.

Terry White presents the Lifetime Achievement Award to Bob Terry. Photo by Brian Heffron.

Dr. Bob Terry has led a storied career running state newspapers for the Southern Baptist Convention, completing an amazing 50 years with three publications.

He started out in Kentucky in 1968 as associate editor of the Western Recorder for the Kentucky Baptist Convention. In 1975 he became editor of Word&Way, the journal of the Missouri Baptist Convention. In 1995, he was named president and editor for the Alabama Baptist, serving the Alabama Baptist State Convention. He continued in that role until his retirement in 2018.

For many years, Terry served EPA and the Associated Church Press as the postal affairs liaison advocating on our behalf with the US Postal Service for lower periodical postage rates and keeping our membership informed of postal matters.

He also served other organizations such as the Baptist World Alliance, The Religious Liberty Commission, the Baptist Convention of Taiwan, Bread for the World, the Missouri Christian Leadership Forum, the Association of State Baptist Publications, the Birmingham Baptist Association.

Andrew Belz displays cover of World magazine’s tribute to Joel Belz as Terry White looks on. Photo by Brian Heffron.

Joel Belz, founder of World magazine, was recognized posthumously with his award accepted by his brother, Andrew. Belz died Feb. 4, 2024, at the age of 82.

Belz started out in journalism working for The Presbyterian Journal. In 1981, he launched his first children’s magazine, God’s World, as a Christian alternative to the popular Weekly Reader. He launched World magazine, for adults, in 1986, although it struggled for several years before it found its footing. In 1999, Belz helped start the World Journalism Institute.

Today, World News Group includes World magazine, World Digital, World Radio, God’s Big WORLD, WORLDkids, WORLDteen, WORLD Watch, and World Journalism Institute.

Belz spent four years on the EPA board, serving as president of the association from 1995 to 1997.

Posted May 8, 2024


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