Recent church staff changes, anniversaries, ordinations and deaths within the moderate and progressive Baptist network.
Please submit transitions — including staff changes, ordinations, anniversaries or deaths — to Barbara Francis. This page will be updated weekly.
Allison Benfield, to St. John’s Baptist Church, Charlotte, N.C., as minister of spiritual growth.
Dustin Biggers, to First Baptist Church, Cornelia, Ga., as interim youth minister.
Jasen Brown to Sugar Land (Texas) Baptist Church, as associate worship and arts minister. He comes from First Baptist Church, Sweetwater, Fla., where he was associate pastor of music and worship.
John Carroll, to First Baptist Church, Aiken, S.C., as senior pastor, effective Dec. 1. He comes from the pastorate of First Baptist Church, Danville, Va.
Jon DeBell, to First Baptist Church, Salisbury, N.C., as interim pastor.
Terry Delaney, to First Baptist Church, Tallahassee, Fla., as associate pastor of missions and pastoral ministry. He comes from the pastorate of Union Baptist Church, Mexico, Mo.
Charles Haley, to Hickory Rock Baptist Church, Louisburg, N.C., as pastor.
Bill Ireland, to First Baptist Church, Erwin, Tenn., as interim pastor.
Chris Liles, to First Baptist Church, Anderson, S.C., as associate pastor. He comes from the pastorate of First Baptist Church, York, S.C.
Katharine Martin, to Knollwood Baptist Church, Winston-Salem, N.C., as interim minister of faith formation and education.
Brian Merz, to The Summit Church, Boise, Idaho, as senior pastor. Previously he served as associate pastor of discipleship there.
Bo Prosser, to First Baptist Church, Lumberton, N.C., as interim pastor, effective Dec. 1.
Terry Sharpe, to Hatcher Memorial Baptist Church, Richmond, Va., as pastor. He was serving as interim pastor there.
Tyler Waddell, to King’s Cross, Tullahoma, Tenn., as pastor of youth and worship.
Gerald Young, to Village Baptist Church, Bowie, Md., as interim pastor.
Kenneth Roxburgh, retiring as pastor of preaching and teaching at Southside Baptist Church, Birmingham, Ala., effective Dec. 8.
Celestyne Bragg, ordained to ministry on Aug. 11 by New Hope Baptist Church, Portsmouth, N.H.
Andrea Huffman, ordained to ministry on Oct. 20 by Chandler Baptist Church, Liberty, Mo.
Leah Ryan, ordained to ministry on Oct. 20 by First Baptist Church, Knoxville, Tenn.
Alfred Thomas Ayscue, 86, died Oct. 9 in Rocky Mount, N.C. He had served as pastor of Harriet Baptist Church, Henderson, N.C.; Wise (N.C.) Baptist Church; Pine Level (N.C.) Baptist Church; and Calvary Baptist Church, Mt. Airy, N.C., until his retirement in 1995. He was a co-founder and member of the Coordinating Council of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. He was past president of the North Carolina State Baptist Convention. He was past chairman of the Biblical Recorder, board member of Campbell University and Wake Forest University and taught extension classes for Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is survived by his wife, Hazel; two daughters, Debbie Creech and Lori Phillips; three grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Charles Thomas Bodkin, 82, died Sept. 21 in Raleigh, N.C. He was pastor of churches in Georgia and North Carolina, including First Baptist Church, Biscoe, N.C.; Rosemary Baptist Church, Roanoke Rapids, N.C.; and associate pastor at Hayes Barton Baptist Church, Raleigh, N.C. After retiring he served several interim pastorates. He had served as president of the North Carolina Baptist Foundation; vice president of the North Carolina State Baptist Convention and trustee of Chowan College (now University). He is survived by his wife, Betty; and a nephew, Phil Bodkin Gambrills.
Fernando Carvalho, died Sept. 6 in San Francisco, Calif. He was pastor of Message of Peace Church in South San Francisco, a church that he founded to reach his fellow Brazilians, Spanish-speaking Latinos and those whose first language is English. He was active in the American Baptist Churches of Los Angeles, Southwest and Hawaii. He is survived by his wife, Teresa; and children, Raquel and Philipe.
John Gray, 67, died Oct. 10 in Holden Beach, N.C. He served on staff at numerous churches as both a pastor and a pastoral care counselor in Kentucky and North Carolina. For the past 20 years he was chaplain/pastor at Holden Beach (N.C.) Chapel. He was on staff at Brunswick Community College, Bolivia, N.C., for 22 years. He is survived by his wife, Brenda; and two nieces.
Bruce Heilman, 93, died Oct. 19 in Richmond, Va. He was president of the University of Richmond from 1971 to 1986. During his tenure, the university’s endowment grew substantially, and the campus added many new facilities. By the time he retired, the school had raised its endowment to $130 million. He returned to serve as president on an interim basis from 1987 to 1988. Early in his career Heilman was president of Meredith College, Raleigh, N.C. He was preceded in death by his wife, Betty June. He is survived by four daughters, Bobbie Murphy, Nancy Cale, Terry Sylvester and Sandy Kuehl; a son, Tim; 11 grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.
John E. Saunders, Sr., died on Oct. 5 in Mooresville, NC. He served in ministry for over 60 years. He was pastor of churches in Indiana and Maryland and was a director of missions in Liberty, Mo. He served on the staff of the Baptist Convention of Maryland and the Florida Baptist Convention. In retirement he served in Boston as director of missions for the New England Baptist Convention, as an interim pastor in Charlotte, N.C., and on the staff of First Baptist Church, Mooresville, N.C. He founded the Food for Days ministry. He is survived by his wife, Beverly; children, Cathy Oldenburg, John Saunders, Jr., Carla Enix and Carrie Holder; nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
The American Baptist Home Mission Societies presented its 2019 Jitsuo Morikawa Healing and Transforming Communities Award to Anna Young, age 88, the organization’s longest-serving volunteer. The presentation was made in early September at Lackawanna County Prison, Scranton, Pa., where she has been ministering since 1971.
Kim Shaw, 5 years as children’s ministry coordinator at Oakland Baptist Church, Rock Hill, S.C.
Fairfield Baptist Church, Burgess, Va.; 175 years; Oct. 13.
First Baptist Church, Starksboro, Vermont; 150 years.
Mount Hermon Baptist Church, Danville, Va.; 175 years; Oct. 20.
Mount Pisgah Baptist Church, Fayetteville, N.C.; 145 years; Oct. 13.
Rolesville (N.C.) Baptist Church; 185 years; Oct. 13.
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