The Baptist Center for Ethics won recognition in an awards competition for Baptist communicators.

Bob Allen, managing editor of, won a first-place award for an article exploring whether cutbacks in international missions in the Southern Baptist Convention might signal the early stages of denominational decline.

Judges in the Baptist Communicators Association Wilmer C. Fields Award Competition named the article, which appeared on in June, the best single news article in the interpretive reporting category for online media.

An evaluation form described the story as “solid interpretive reporting,” “well researched” and “good writing.”

The 304-member BCA is a professional organization for employees of Baptist organizations whose primary professional responsibilities include public relations and/or communications. Allen, who worked 17 years in Baptist journalism before joining the BCE staff last April, has been a member since 1983.

This year the BCA received 305 entries from 89 members/agencies. A panel of professional judges evaluated entries March 13. Winners were announced April 15 at a ceremony in St. Louis.

The competition is named in honor of BCA lifetime member and retired vice president of public relations for the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, Wilmer C. Fields.

This 40th annual awards competition, according to the BCA, was designed to encourage professional excellence among association members and to recognize those members who have done exemplary work.

See winning story: “Do IMB Cutbacks Signal Southern Baptist Decline?”

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