Baptist Press: Litton honored by ministers’ wives

ST. LOUIS (BP) — Ministers’ wives awarded Kathy Ferguson Litton the 2016 Willie Turner Dawson Award during the annual Ministers’ Wives Luncheon in St. Louis on June 14 during the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting.

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.

Jeana Floyd, who ministers alongside her husband Ronnie Floyd at Cross Church in northwest Arkansas, nominated Litton, who is a native of St. Louis.

She recognized Litton for her more than 40 years of investment in women and ministers’ wives across the nation and the world.

Most recently, since 2011, Litton has served on the staff of the North American Mission Board as national consultant for ministry to pastors’ wives. In that role, she has traveled to 36 states and visited 21 of NAMB’s 32 Send Cities to serve and encourage pastors’ and planters’ wives. She also developed “Flourish,” a ministry of encouragement to these wives.

In 2002, Litton needed her own encouragement. Married at the time to Rick Ferguson, pastor of Riverside Baptist Church in Denver, Colo., she experienced tragedy in her family.

While on vacation, Rick lost his life in a car accident. Litton and her three children, Brett, Kate and Justin and members of Riverside Baptist Church were stunned and thrown into a season of grief.

Floyd said, “As a pastor’s wife, I tried to imagine how radically her life had changed,” and Floyd had a calling to “carry her” in her heart.

Three years later, pastor Ronnie Floyd, who had gone to school with Rick, invited Litton to speak at a women’s event at their church. That led into a job offer to lead the women’s ministry at Cross Church Pinnacle Hills in Rogers, Ark., which Litton accepted.

“What developed from that was a deep friendship,” Jeana Floyd said. “Not everything was overshadowed by grief, but with lots of fun and laughter — and a blessing to have a friend who understood my life as a pastor’s wife. What Kathy showed me was the sufficiency of the Lord every step of the way.”

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