The Addie Davis Awards

Baptist Women in Ministry established the Addie Davis Awards in 1995 to honor Addie Davis, the first Southern Baptist woman ordained to the gospel ministry. These awards also a way for BWIM to give public recognition to gifted women seminarians. That year and in the years since, BWIM has solicited nominations for the awards from Baptist seminaries, divinity schools, and houses of study. Each theological institution is asked to nominated two women students: one for the Addie Davis Awards for Excellence in Preaching and one for the Addie Davis Award for Outstanding Leadership in Pastoral Ministry.

Addie Davis winnersIn 2016, Margaret Brooks and Elizabeth (Liz) Coates received the Addie Davis Awards. Margaret received the Addie Davis Award for Outstanding Leadership in Pastoral Ministry, and Liz received the Addie Davis Award for Excellence in Preaching.

Margaret is a student at the Baptist Seminary in Kentucky and anticipates graduating in May 2017. In 2011, Margaret became the pastoral care minister at First Baptist Church of Richmond, Kentucky, helping with their homeless ministry, leading in worship, and regularly preaching. Two years later, she began work as the associate pastoral counselor for Cornerstone Counseling of Madison County, a non-profit, faith-based counseling agency.

G. Wade Rowatt, senior professor of pastoral care and counseling at BSK, says of Margaret, “Margaret has guided her congregation to see the value of having a trained pastoral counselor available to the church and the community. She has gently led them, with the support of her pastor and staff, to accept her as a woman in ministry.”

The recipient of the 2016 Addie Davis Award for Excellence in Preaching is Elizabeth Coates. She is a May 2016 graduate of Mercer University’s McAfee School of Theology.

Liz has served on the staff of First Baptist Church, Gainesville, Georgia, as the director of their Family Life Center since 2007. During her years of ministry, the congregation has invited her to take on new roles, including leadership of young adults and outreach and associate pastor of discipleship and spiritual formation. She was ordained on April 10. In late 2016, Plymouth Church in Brooklyn, New York, called her as assistant minister.

Liz’s award-winning sermon, “Stop and See,” is based on John 12:1-8. In that sermon, she challenged the congregation of First Baptist, Gainesville, with these words: “The world needs people who see others, who take a true view, an uninterrupted, gushing view of who God has made them, with their pain and suffering, with their joy and beauty, with their hopes and needs . . . But you know what else, be careful, because once you see people, it is tough, if not impossible, to ‘un-see’ them.”

The video presentation of the 2016 Addie Davis Awards is available below:

List of Past Recipients


1998 Kelly Bazemore, Tammy Condrey, Jennifer L. Dundas, Joy Heaton, Jana Stewart Kinnersley, Gloria Jean Ortega, Rachel A. Stephen

1999 Veronice Miles (preaching) and Virginia Dempsey (pastoral leadership)

2000 Kimberly L. Hardegree (preaching) and Ellen Holden DiGiosia (pastoral leadership)

2001 Nikki Finkelstein-Blair (preaching)

2002 Andrea Dellinger Jones (preaching) and Belinda Creighton-Smith (pastoral leadership)

2003 Susan Burnette (preaching) and Shirley Ramsey Luckadoo (pastoral leadership)

2004 LeAnn Gunter (preaching) and Holly Sprink (pastoral leadership)

2005 Martha Kearse (preaching) and Teresa Pugh (pastoral leadership)

2006 Stacy Cochran (preaching) and Debra Anne Carter (pastoral leadership)

2007 Shelley Hasty Woodruff (preaching) and Renee Kenley (pastoral leadership)

2008 Bailey Edwards Nelson (preaching) and Caroline Lawson (pastoral leadership)

2009 Marquette Bugg (preaching) and Tammy Jackson Gill (pastoral leadership)

2010 Karen Hatcher (preaching) and Gwen Brown (pastoral leadership)

2011 Kyndall Rothaus (preaching) and Griselda Escobar (pastoral leadership)

2012 Erin James-Brown (preaching) and Angela Fields (pastoral leadership)

2013 Molly Brummett (preaching) and Heather Mustain (pastoral leadership)

2014 Racquel Gill (preaching) and Erica Evans Whitaker (pastoral leadership)

2015  Brenda Kay Hafer (preaching) and Crystal M. Shepherd (pastoral leadership)

2016 Elizabeth Coates (preaching) and Margaret Brooks (pastoral leadership)