The Board of General Superintendents requests this Twenty-seventh General Assembly of the Church of the Nazarene to join us in a salute to
DR. PAUL G. CUNNINGHAM
We do this on the occasion of his retirement after 45 years of effective and faithful ministry for Christ and His Church. For the last 16 years of his active ministry he has served as a general superintendent of the Church of the Nazarene, providing exemplary leadership to the global church.
Dr. Cunningham was chosen for the highest elected office in the church at the Twenty-third General Assembly at Indianapolis, Indiana, in July 1993, after serving for 29 years as senior pastor of College Church of the Nazarene in Olathe, Kansas.
He went to Olathe in 1964 to pastor the local Church of the Nazarene. The church grew from 46 members in 1964 to a constituency of more than 3,000 in 1993 when he left. Total annual giving rose from $11,000 in 1964 to over $3 million. The congregation built three sanctuaries and education units under his leadership, with the third sanctuary seating 4,000. Dr. Cunningham was instrumental in bringing MidAmerica Nazarene University to the Olathe area.
Dr. Cunningham served as chairman of the Board of Trustees of Nazarene Theological Seminary, and he was a member of the general church Beacon Hill Press Book Committee. He was also secretary of the Board of Trustees at MidAmerica Nazarene University and a member of the Kansas City District Advisory Board. At the 1985 General Assembly he was elected president of the General Board of the International Church and was reelected to that post in 1989.
In 1991 he was selected as the Citizen of the Year by the Olathe Chamber of Commerce, and in 1993 he was chosen by MidAmerica Nazarene University to receive the Citation of Merit from the denomination for his contributions to education. Also in 1993, Dr. Cunningham was given the J. T. Barton Award from the City of Olathe for distinguished service-the city's highest award.
After graduation from Olivet Nazarene University he married Connie Seaman, whom he had known since childhood. The two of them have exemplified what it means to be godly spouses, parents, and grandparents, always giving the best of themselves to their family in spite of the pressing demands of ministry.
Dr. Cunningham is a 1964 graduate of Nazarene Theological Seminary. In 1975 MidAmerica Nazarene University, in grateful appreciation for his influence in the founding and leadership of the university, conferred upon him the doctor of divinity degree.
In addition to his work as College Church pastor and general superintendent, he has been the special speaker in many revivals, district events, camp meetings, rallies, retreats, and seminars throughout the United States and in various world areas. His wife, Connie, has often joined him as a speaker. As leaders, speakers, and confidants, they have been models of integrity, faithfulness, and passion for the people of the church around the world.
The Cunninghams have three children: Paul Mark Cunningham, Lori Wegley, and Connie Jo Mason, all living in the Olathe area. Seven grandchildren are a constant source of pride, joy, and satisfaction.
Dr. Paul G. Cunningham, we salute you. Your colleagues on the Board of General Superintendents cherish the memories of our many hours together. Your love for Christ and the church has inspired and challenged us. Your deep commitment to nurturing relationships with family and friends stirs us. Your example of holy living encourages us. You are a model of Christian consistency and of passion for the doctrine and experience of entire sanctification.
For these and numerous other significant reasons, our entire denomination expresses deep gratitude and profound appreciation for the exemplary life and ministry of Paul G. Cunningham.
THE BOARD OF GENERAL SUPERINTENDENTS CHURCH OF THE NAZARENE