NEW ORLEANS — Union University presented Ben Mandrell, president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources and a former Tennessee pastor, with the M.E. Dodd Denominational Service Award during a June 13 alumni dinner at the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in New Orleans, La.
The Dodd Award is the highest denominational service award Union gives. It is named for the man who was a 1904 Union graduate, served as president of the SBC and who was the father of today’s Cooperative Program, the method by which Southern Baptists pool their resources to fund their mission efforts.
The award, voted on by Union trustees, is given to a leader within the SBC who displays excellence and leadership in Southern Baptist life, as well as friendship and commitment to Union University. Past recipients include such leaders as Jimmy Draper, Adrian Rogers, R. Albert Mohler Jr., Steve Gaines, Randy C. Davis, Paul Chitwood, Willie McLaurin, David S. Dockery and others.
“Ben Mandrell has provided visionary leadership to one of Southern Baptists’ most important ministries – LifeWay Christian Resources,” said Todd E. Brady, Union’s vice president for university ministries. “He has a servant’s heart and a gracious spirit, and Southern Baptists are grateful for his leadership.”
Mandrell was elected as Lifeway’s 10th president in 2019 after serving as pastor of Storyline Fellowship in Arvada, Colo. He previously served as pastor of Englewood Baptist Church in Jackson, Tenn., and as campus minister at Union.
A native of Tampico, Ill., Mandrell graduated from Anderson (Ind.) University in 1998. He also holds a Master of Divinity degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Union. He and his wife, Lynley, have four children. B&R