Christian Chronicle

Surprise! Award honors influential children’s minister

Brenda Gordon recognized at the National Children’s & Youth Ministries conference.

By Bobby Ross Jr. | The Christian Chronicle

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The picture flashed on the big screen, and Brenda Gordon immediately recognized the face.

It was her own.

“It was a shock. That’s what it was,” Gordon said. “I had no idea that anything was going on.”

People who love Gordon — her husband, Sylvan; her adult daughters, LeAnna Thompson and Audrey White; her spiritual family at the Edmond Church of Christ in Oklahoma; her children’s ministry colleagues and former interns across the U.S. — had kept the secret for months.

The surprise occurred at the recent National Children’s & Youth Ministries conference, known as NCYM, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Colorado Springs. 

Lord willing, Gordon will celebrate 20 years this August as the children’s ministry director for the Edmond church, north of Oklahoma City. 

Even as she recovers from knee replacement surgery, she flew to NCYM. 

Gordon, who taught public school for 21 years before going into full-time ministry, was excited about seeing old friends and attending the sessions.

What she didn’t know was that NCYM leaders planned to honor her with the 2023 Children’s Ministry Award. She figured it out as the video began playing that night, and familiar faces started offering tributes to her.

“Oh, it was just an ugly cry, I tell you,” Gordon said of her response.

Read the full column.

This column appears in the online edition of The Christian Chronicle.

Featured photo provided by Sierra Gustafson

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