Buford Griffith, executive secretary and director of Family Ministries and Religious Liberty for the Southwestern Union Conference, and Carmen Griffith, director of Southwestern Union’s Women’s Ministries and Ministerial Spouses Ministries, received the 2019 North American Division (NAD) Family Ministries Distinguished Service Award on July 20. The award was presented by Claudio and Pamela Consuegra, co-directors for Family Ministries of the North American Division during the ministry’s annual Family Research and Practice Conference on the campus of Andrews University.
The Griffiths have been actively involved in Family Ministries for more than 30 years. Their passion and primary focus have been on marriage and parenting, which are foundational areas of Family Ministries.
“It is with great pleasure that we honor and congratulate them for being the recipients of the 2019 North American Division Family Ministries Inukshuk Distinguished Service Award,” said Pamela Consuegra.
The award represents an “Inukshuk,” which holds great symbolism in Canada – a country within the NAD. The stone, manlike figures were traditionally constructed by the Inuit along the Canadian shores with the purpose of pointing wayward travelers back home. If lost, one would only need to look along the shoreline for the Inukshuk and proceed in the direction it was pointing.
“Pastor Buford and Carmen Griffith have dedicated their life’s ministry to strengthening families. Just as the Inukshuk point wayward travelers back home, the ministry provided by them — as a husband and wife team — has consistently pointed countless families towards their heavenly home,” said Consuegra.
Buford earned his bachelor’s degree in Natural Sciences from Oakwood College (now Oakwood University) before becoming a board-certified medical technologist. He earned a master’s degree in Biblical Counseling through a joint program offered through The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, and Trinity Theological Seminary in Newburgh, Indiana. Carmen is also a graduate of Oakwood College, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. She went on to earn two master’s degrees – one in Counseling from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and a second in Reading from The Ohio State University.