Gunter Receives Citation of Emerita Status


The Board of General Superintendents requests this Twenty-seventh General Assembly of the Church of the Nazarene to join us in a salute to


We do this in celebration of her dedicated service, visionary leadership, and passionate commitment to Christ. She has served 54 years as a preacher of the Good News of Christ, culminating in four years as a general superintendent in the Church of the Nazarene.

Nina Griggs Gunter was born on September 4, 1937, in Bennettsville, South Carolina, to Joseph and Naomi Griggs. She answered the call to preach at the age of 14. Upon telling her pastor about this, he asked her to preach at the next service. From this simple beginning God has used her to touch the world with the message of full salvation.

Dwight Moody Gunter married Nina in 1956. They have two sons, Dwight M.Gunter II and Dwayne M. Gunter.

Nina G. Gunter received her bachelor of arts degree from Trevecca Nazarene University and her master of education degree from the University of South Carolina. She was awarded an honorary doctor of divinity from Trevecca Nazarene University in recognition of her creative and innovative ministry-the first woman to receive this honor from the university. She is listed among Who's Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities and Outstanding Young Women of America. She was elected by Trevecca alumni as the "Ministerial Alumnus of the Year" in 1990 and was named by Nazarene Bible College as the 2005 "T. W. Willingham Preacher of the Year." In 2006 Olivet Nazarene University presented her with the distinguished Maggie Sloan Crawford Leadership Award. In February 2009 Trevecca honored Dr. Gunter by making her the first recipient of the Nina Griggs Gunter Leadership Award established to give annual recognition to an outstanding Christian woman who models servant leadership. TNU also presents an annual Nina Griggs Gunter Scholarship to a female student who has demonstrated servant leadership on campus and in her community.

Dr. Gunter's ministry as an ordained elder in the Church of the Nazarene has been one of partnership with her husband. She served as copastor with him in Waverly, Tennessee, 1957-1958; Butler, Missouri, 1960-1961; Charleston, South Carolina, 1961-1963; Hartsville, South Carolina, 1963-1975; and Sumter, South Carolina, 1975-1976. In addition to serving as the South Carolina district office administrator while her husband was the district superintendent (1976-1986), she served in evangelism ministry and as interim pastor of various congregations.

While co-pastoring in Hartsville, South Carolina, Nina became involved in leadership for a ministry that would exercise her abilities and expand her passions and faith in God for the next 35 years-Nazarene Missions International (NMI). First she served as NMI president on the South Carolina District for 15 years. For the last nine of those years she was also the representative for the Southeast Region on the General Council. In 1986 she was elected to the position of General NMI Director. During her 20-year tenure she initiated many missions programs, and annual missions giving increased from $30 million to $62 million for a total of one billion dollars given to missions.

Dr. Gunter was elected to the Board of General Superintendents at the Twenty-sixth General Assembly in Indianapolis, Indiana, in June 2005-the first woman to be honored with the highest elective office in the church. Dr. Gunter's presence on the Board of General Superintendents has been marked by a spirit of cooperation and collaboration. Her insights, coupled with her devotion to the gospel, have made her voice one of reason, compassion, and experience. Her leadership has been framed by an ever-present awareness of the responsibility to adequately reflect the spiritual interests of every Nazarene. By her ministry and example the global church has been enriched.

Throughout her life she has always placed a high priority on family. She is deeply grateful that every member of her family is a committed follower of Jesus, serving Him in a local Nazarene church.

In spite of a hectic schedule, Dr. Gunter has found time for meditation, prayer, reflection, and writing. She has authored the following books: The Traveler's Psalm, Our Defining Moment, Christian Perfection, and The Cross-Seize It! Share It! She has coauthored her latest book, Holy Leadership in a Hectic World, published in 2009. Dr. Gunter was selected as a contributing editor in 2008 and 2009 for the Leadership Journal of Christianity Today as one of the "church leaders admired most for being faithful and innovative in contributing to Christ's mission in the world."

As a valued colleague, Dr. Gunter has been a model of the Church's obedience to her Lord Jesus Christ. Her passionate effort to challenge local churches to a greater vision for global missions has resulted in unprecedented interest and support. Her perseverance in championing the cause of women in ministry emerges from her own conviction that the ground at the foot of the cross is level and that the call of God to ministry supersedes any distinctions of color, gender, or nationality. Her unwavering commitment to the doctrine and experience of entire sanctification has inspired many others to preach holiness with conviction and clarity.

For these and numerous other significant reasons, our entire denomination expresses deep gratitude and profound appreciation for the exemplary life and ministry of Nina Griggs Gunter.