Dr. Carlton P. Byrd, Speaker/Director for Breath of Life Television Ministry and Senior Pastor for the Oakwood University was recognized at the recent Year End Meetings of the North American Division (NAD) as the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award for Evangelism.
Dr. Byrd has been used by God to baptize 5,000 individuals in his 25 years of ministry, including 403 in 2009. Each year since 2001, he has been blessed to baptize at least 100 individuals.
Additionally, in 2008, he was blessed by God to receive the singular honor of being named to the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Board of Preachers and Collegium of Scholars.
He began his ministry in the South Central Conference in 1994, in the Laurel/Soso/Columbia, Mississippi. After receiving his Master of Divinity from Andrews University, he returned to the field in South Central to pastor in the Tuscaloosa/Eutaw, Alabama district and the South Nashville SDA Church.
He was then called to the Southwest Region Conference, where he pastored the Houston Belfort Church for 3 years before accepting a call to the Atlanta Berean SDA Church. In each conference, he was a leader in baptism and church growth and was recognized by his respective conference as such.
In 2012, he was called back to the South Central Conference to pastor the Oakwood University SDA Church-the largest church in terms of tithe in the Regional work. There-in addition to consistently leading the conference in baptisms, Dr. Byrd also served as the Building Committee Chair for the long-delayed Oakwood Academy Building Program. Phase 2 was completed a few years ago and the final phase-Phase III, is set for completion in the Spring of 2020.
The long-deferred Family Life Center of Oakwood University Church was built and a major refurbishing of the sanctuary was completed this year-all while maintaining an emphasis on the ultimate mission of the church-leading men and women to accept Jesus Christ and become a member of His remnant church.
When asked what has been a contributing factor to the success for which the Lord has blessed him, Dr. Byrd gives God the glory and then, from a human perspective, credits his wife, Danielle, and their children. He recognizes that without their support and sacrifice, he would not be able to do the things in ministry that are needed to be done.
He said that “you have to love people” and that love for people drives you to “want to see them saved” – which is what the church “is called to do”.