Mary Cox honored by ministers' wives
NEW ORLEANS (BP) -- Mary Cox, who has served alongside her husband, Frank Cox, pastor of North Metro First Baptist Church in Lawrenceville, Ga., for the past 30 years, was honored with the 2012 Willie Turner Dawson Award during the Ministers' Wives Luncheon at the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in New Orleans.
Cox also has served since 2004 as ministers' wives consultant for the Georgia Baptist Convention, supporting ministers' wives through regular contact and an annual retreat for renewal and refreshment.
She also speaks to women's ministries and teaches Bible studies, encouraging women to experience a growing relationship with Christ.
In presenting the award, Ginny Whitten, wife of Ken Whitten of Idlewild Baptist Church in Tampa, Fla., praised Cox for her commitment to 25 years of marriage and 30-plus years of church ministry.
The mother to three children, Stephen, Jonathan and Kristen, and grandmother of two, Cox previously served as the director of women's ministry at North Metro First Baptist, as a vice president of the Georgia Baptist Convention and trustee with LifeWay Christian Resources.
Cox said she loved being a pastor's wife and was "humbled" and "very undeserving" of the award.
"I think we have such an influence. We can influence people all around us every single day, even in our communities -- not just in our churches," Cox said.
Cox shared the greatest piece of advice she had ever been given, recounting that her husband told her soon after they were married, "You be who God made you, and you just be who you are. Pray about everything, and you allow God to lead you. And if you do that, God will never lead you astray."
"And did you know, today, 25 years we have been married, I can honestly tell you God has never led me astray," Cox said. "When I turn to Him, He always leads me in the right direction."
Each year, the Dawson Award recognizes a minister's wife for making a distinct denominational contribution beyond the local church and for her Christian character and service to others.
It was established in 1963 when the ministers' wives group posthumously honored Willie Turner Dawson, wife of J.M. Dawson, pastor of First Baptist Church in Waco, Texas. Willie Turner Dawson was a teacher and lecturer who in 1930 successfully challenged the Southern Baptist Convention to give more to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.
Shannon Baker is national correspondent for BaptistLIFE, newsjournal of the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware.