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J.M. Dawson Religious Liberty Award

The J.M. Dawson Religious Liberty Award was established on the 50th anniversary of the Baptist Joint Committee in 1986. This award recognizes the contributions of individuals in the area of the free exercise of religion and church-state separation such as:

  • Advancement of the free exercise of religion in the U.S.
  • Defense of the principle of church-state separation
  • Application of personal Christian commitment to the life of the nation.
  • Supporting the enactment of good law, embodying high ethical standards and equal justice for all citizens.
  • Consistent commitment to the Biblical witness to freedom of conscience under God and the dignity of the individual.
  • Defense of the rights of all citizens with no prejudice of belief or non-belief.
  • Emulating character and spirituality which is consistent with the Christian truth evidenced in Jesus Christ.

Recipients of the Dawson Award are:

  • 1986 Fred Schwengel
             Porter Routh
  • 1991 Bill Moyers
  • 1993 Hugh Wamble
             Wes Forsline
  • 1996 Jimmy Carter
  • 2001 Grady Cothen
  • 2003 Tony Campolo
  • 2006 Walter B. Shurden
  • 2007 The John F. Baugh Family 
  • 2008 Aidsand Wright-Riggins
             Patsy Ayres
  • 2009 Phil Strickland
  • 2010 William D. Underwood
             Rev. Dr. Gardner C. Taylor
  • 2011 James M. Dunn
             Richard Ice
  • 2012 Bill J. Leonard
  • 2013 Suzii Paynter

The Barbara Jordan/Mark Hatfield Political Courage Award

This award is intended to recognize a member of Congress who exhibits the political courage demonstrated by Barbara Jordan and Mark Hatfield relating to religious liberty and the separation of church and state. The recipient of this award need not be a Baptist.

Recipients of this award are:

  • 1999 Chet Edwards
  • 2001 John Lewis

The James Dunn Truth With the Bark On It Award

This award is intended to recognize and honor young people who exhibit an interest in and are dedicated to educating others about religious liberty and separation of church and state. One need not be a Baptist to receive this award. It has been given only twice

  • 2002 Joseph Cullar
  • 2008 Madison McClendon

To nominate someone for a BJC award, please email This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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