By Aaron Weaver
DECATUR, Ga.— A Missouri senior pastor and young leader deeply invested in CBF life is the nominee to become the next Moderator-Elect for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship at the 2019 General Assembly in Birmingham, Ala.
The CBF Nominating Committee has selected Carol McEntyre to serve as Moderator-Elect in 2019-2020. McEntyre has served as senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Columbia, Mo., since 2012. She previously was community minister at First Baptist Church, Knoxville, Tenn. (2005-2012) and Christian education minister at Church of the Holy Comforter in Augusta, Ga. (2004-2005).
McEntyre is a graduate of George W. Truett Theological Seminary at Baylor University, where she earned her master of divinity and master of social work in 2003. While in seminary, McEntyre served as ministerial assistant at Lake Shore Baptist Church in Waco, Texas, from 2001-2003. She was ordained in 2002 at Lake Shore Baptist.
A Tennessee native, McEntyre is a graduate of Carson-Newman University in Jefferson City, Tenn., earning her bachelor of arts in human services and psychology. She also has a doctor of ministry from Drew University in Madison, N.J.
McEntyre has received numerous honors and awards that recognize her passion for congregational ministry and her commitment to Cooperative Baptist life. She received CBF’s Young Baptist Award in 2015 and Carson-Newman College’s Outstanding Young Alumna Award in 2010. McEntyre also completed the Center for Congregational Health’s Young Leader’s Program and is a graduate of the inaugural class of CBF Fellows (2012-2015).
She has served on the Leadership Team for Baptist Women in Ministry (2015-2018) and is currently a member of the CBF Governing Board.
McEntyre expressed excitement to step into this new role and said it was an honor and opportunity to be able to “give back” to CBF.
“I am honored to be able to serve as moderator for our Fellowship,” McEntyre said. “This is an opportunity for me to give back to a community that has invested in my ministry from the beginning. When I was a student at Truett Seminary, I received a scholarship from CBF, which helped cover a portion of my tuition and provided the opportunity to attend General Assembly. Having grown up in a church that didn’t support women in ministry, as I pursued my calling, CBF became a place of acceptance and encouragement. When I finally had the opportunity to become a senior pastor, CBF was there again investing in me through the CBF Fellows program.
“Throughout my ministry, the churches that I have served benefitted from their partnership with CBF and the chance to support and engage with CBF field personnel around the world. First Baptist Columbia is proud to be the home church of field personnel Mary Van Rheenen and Keith Holmes. This connection has enriched the life of our church. As I look toward the role of moderator, I recognize that churches are facing many challenges and need the camaraderie and creativity of the Fellowship surrounding them. I look forward to working with new Executive Coordinator Paul Baxley and the wider Fellowship to face this new day together.”
McEntyre and her husband, Michael, who is also a minister, are parents to their two children: Nate (age nine) and Marin (age four).
CBF Executive Coordinator Paul Baxley praised the nomination of McEntyre and said he is grateful for her leadership, anticipating that her unique gifts will uplift the called and encourage the Fellowship as a whole.
“Carol McEntyre is a gifted pastor who has led her congregation with faithfulness, courage and integrity,” Baxley said. “Our Fellowship plays an essential role in her call to ministry, and she has already offered significant leadership to our extended Fellowship community through her congregational ministry and her outstanding service both on our Governing Board and on the Leadership Team of Baptist Women in Ministry. Throughout her ministry, she has both seen and experienced the grace of being part of a larger community of field personnel, theological schools and other partners committed to the calling, preparing and thriving of ministers and a much more faithful participation in God’s mission around the world.
“I look forward to serving alongside Carol and other leaders in our Fellowship as we seek new and more faithful ways of helping new generations of women and men hear and respond to God’s call, surrounding congregations and their leaders in relationships that lead to flourishing. I believe Carol’s unique gifts and experiences prepare her extremely well to offer leadership in our Fellowship and I am grateful for her willingness to serve.”
The CBF Nominating Committee, chaired by retired journalist Greg Warner, will present McEntyre for approval from the General Assembly along with additional nominees to serve on the Fellowship’s Governing Board, Missions Council and Ministries Council.
Additionally, the Governing Board, led by CBF Moderator Gary Dollar, will bring forward nominees to serve on the Nominating Committee and Council of Endorsement as well as the boards of CBF Church Benefits and the CBF Foundation.
At the conclusion of the upcoming General Assembly, June 17-21, current CBF Moderator-Elect Kyle Reese will assume the role of Moderator, the Fellowship’s highest ranking office. Reese will succeed Dollar, who will transition to the position of Past Moderator and serve as an ex-officio member of the Nominating Committee in 2019-2020.
CBF is a Christian network that helps people put their faith to practice through ministry efforts, global missions and a broad community of support. The Fellowship’s mission is to serve Christians and churches as they discover and fulfill their God-given mission. Learn more at www.cbf.net.