COVID-19 hit us hard, but you can help
What is real news worth to you? Your support is…
OKLAHOMA CITY — The Christian Chronicle was recognized for journalistic excellence this week by state and national professional organizations.
The Chronicle, an international newspaper for Churches of Christ with a U.S. print circulation of 135,000, earned six awards — including first place in four categories — from the Oklahoma Society of Professional Journalists.
Murray Evans won first place for sports reporting for his coverage of the funeral for Allan Trimble, a record-setting Oklahoma high school football coach and elder of The Park Church of Christ in Tulsa. Trimble, 56, died Dec. 1 after a faith-inspiring battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease.
“Murray Evans’ coverage of a memorial service for a legendary high school football coach went far beyond the night’s glowing tributes,” the contest judge said. “Evans’ reporting also provided depth and context, offering a much fuller picture of a man who touched so many lives.”
“Murray and Brandi are both top-notch journalists who could write for any news organization in the country,” said Bobby Ross Jr., the Chronicle’s editor-in-chief. “We are extremely blessed that they and other devoted Christians choose to share their talents with Chronicle readers.”
Erik Tryggestad, the Chronicle’s president and CEO, took first place in personal column writing for his humorous take “When the roll is called up yonder, Alexa answers.” The column highlighted — with an amazing level of toilet paper hilarity — the unintended consequences of an online sermon by Phil Brookman of the Memorial Road Church of Christ in Oklahoma City.
Other awards included:
• First place for diversity reporting for coverage of Oklahoma Christian University’s efforts at racial reconciliation. The winning entry featured Tryggestad’s in-depth feature “After 50 years, an apology” and Ross’ news story on the Christian university changing the name of its auditorium amid concerns about a racist statement attributed to the previous namesake.
• First place for in-depth enterprise and investigative reporting for Ross’ series of stories on a longtime youth minister accused of preying on young boys. The winning entry included the main story, a related Q&A, a follow-up story and a column on a Chronicle live panel on church sex abuse hosted by Harding University in Searcy, Ark.
• Third place for criminal justice reporting for Ross’ coverage of the Botham Jean shooting case, including an interview with the beloved Dallas West Church of Christ member’s parents and a news story on Brandt Jean forgiving the police officer who killed his brother.
Also this week, Ross was named as a finalist for the Religion News Association’s 2020 Awards for Religion Reporting Excellence.
Besides the sex abuse coverage previously mentioned, his portfolio included stories on Dr. Kent Brantly returning to Africa as a medical missionary and the West Freeway Church of Christ in Fort Worth, Texas, grieving after a deadly shooting. The RNA winners will be announced this fall.
Subscribe today to receive more inspiring articles like this one delivered straight to your inbox twice a month.
Your donation helps us not only keep our quality of journalism high, but helps us continue to reach more people in the Churches of Christ community.