The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship has reorganized its Decatur, Ga., staff around nine major areas as an outgrowth of the Toward Bold Faithfulness initiative and budget constraints.
In October, the CBF Governing Board approved a balanced budget for 2020-2021 that required $2.1 million in spending reductions and the loss of 10 staff positions. Those reductions were informed by the results of a national survey of CBF congregations, laity, clergy and partners that became a new strategic plan.
The nine areas presented on a new organizational chart and their top leadership include:
- Office of the Executive Coordinator, Paul Baxley
- Young Baptist Ecosystem, Devita Parnell
- Global Missions, Steven Porter
- Outreach and Growth, Kasey Jones
- Advocacy, Stephen Reeves
- Chaplaincy and Pastoral Counseling, Renée Owen
- Communications and Identity, Jeff Huett
- Development, Shauw Chinn Capps
- Operations, Becky Buice Hall
Outreach and Growth is a new area of emphasis that was created in July, before the budget reduction and reorganization but as a result of the Toward Bold Faithfulness plan. According to a news release at the time, the intent of the office is to focus on “the Fellowship’s outreach and growth initiatives, including CBF’s work for racial and ethnic diversity.”
Jones has two staff members working with her: Ruben Ortiz, Latino Field Ministries Coordinator; and Grace Martino, Outreach and Growth Specialist.
The October reorganization announcement noted that CBF will take a one-year pause on new church starting efforts in order to reassess the most effective way to accomplish this branch of outreach and growth work. Kyle Tubbs, who in 2018 became the first full-time manager of church starting, was among those whose positions were eliminated.
Another significant change is the melding of the CBF Foundation and the Fellowship’s development office. Shauw Chin Capps, who earlier this year was named president of the Foundation and Chief Legacy Gifts Officer for CBF, now will head all development efforts. Her new title is CBF Foundation President and CBF Chief Development Officer. Former Director of Development Martha Perusek was among those whose positions were eliminated.
Also gone from the new structure are offices for Leadership Development and for Congregations and Leadership. The Leadership Development program, previously led by Josh Speight, worked with curriculum and resources for congregations. Although his position was eliminated, the CBF Fellows program and missions education resources will continue.
The Congregations and Leadership program, previously led by Harry Rowland, was created in 2017 for “nurturing and coordinating relationships with existing CBF networks and developing new networks and congregational initiatives that promote leadership, especially in regions of expansion such as the Southwest United States.”
Although his position was eliminated, some of the staff and programs previously under Rowland’s leadership have shifted to other areas in the new structure. For example, Ortiz’ work with Latino congregations has moved to Outreach and Growth; the work of Fellowship Southwest, led by Marv Knox, has moved to Advocacy; Young Baptist Ecosystem, led by Devita Parnell, has become its own office; and Together for Hope, led by Jason Coker, has moved to Advocacy.
Global Missions remains largely intact with its leadership, which includes both Porter and Associate Coordinator Sam Harrell, although Baxley previously announced that several Global Missions field personnel would be retiring this year. The new budget accounts for 64 field personnel serving in 18 countries.
Among other staff laid off in the reorganization, two were listed as interns and three worked in accounting.
The updated staff listing is now showing on CBF’s website.
Over the 30 years of its existence, CBF — like many denominational-type organizations — has worked with an ever-evolving staff structure due, in part, to the rapidly changing needs of churches and responding to the ups and downs of economic realities.