Please submit transitions — including staff changes, ordinations, anniversaries or deaths — to Barbara Francis. This page will be updated bi-weekly.
Megan Turner Doud, to Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Georgia, as coordinator of young Baptist ministries. She comes from First Baptist Church, Aiken, S.C., where she was minister to students and missions.
Skeeta Jenkins, to First Baptist Church, Temple, Texas, as connections and administrative pastor.
Daniel, McKay, Pioneer Drive Baptist Church, Abilene, Texas, as associate pastor of teaching and connections. He comes from First Baptist Church, Granbury, Texas, where he was associate pastor.
Jonathan Smith, to Texas Baptists Center for Church Health, as church health strategist. He comes from First Baptist Church, Friendswood, Texas, where he was connections pastor.
Beck Taylor, to Samford University, Birmingham, Ala., as president. He comes from Whitworth University, Spokane, Wash., where he is president.
Fred DeFoor, retiring after 34 years as minister of music at St. Andrews Baptist Church, Columbia, S.C.
James “Jim” R. Barnette, 59, died Feb. 22 in Birmingham, Ala. An alum of Samford University, he later returned in 1994 to serve as minister to the university and in 2006 as a professor in the religion department. He coordinated Samford Sunday, a program matching young men and women called to preach with Alabama churches. He also oversaw the Pre-ministerial Scholars Program. He was teaching pastor at Brookwood Baptist Church in Birmingham from 2007 to now. He is survived by his wife, Deanna; daughter, Hannah Asters; son, Nick; and one grandchild.
Henry “Lew” Luther Bennett III, 65, died Feb. 5 in Bassett, Va. He served for 25 years as pastor of First Baptist Church, Bassett. For decades he was also involved in planting churches. He is survived by his wife, Jeanine; two daughters, Emily Stutler and Faith Neel; a son, Chip; and 10 grandchildren.
Joseph Swanson Edmonds, 90, died Feb. 21 in Alexandria, Va. During his ministry he served as pastor of: First Baptist Church of Ballston, Arlington, Va.; First Baptist Church, Mulberry, Fla.; First Baptist Church of Friendly, Fort Washington, Md.; First Baptist Church, Fruitland, Md.; and Anacostia Baptist Church, Washington, D.C. He was preceded in death by two wives, Shirley and Estha. He is survived by three daughters, Estha Jane Montgomery, Rebecca Specht and Joanna Craig; seven grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.
David Lee Henry, 84, died Feb. 16 in Roanoke, Va. He was pastor of numerous churches in Virginia, including Bayside Baptist Church, Virginia Beach, Va.; Mount Tabor Baptist Church, Keeling, Va.; Calvary Hill Baptist Church, Fairfax, Va.; and Kentuck Baptist Church, Ringgold, Va. He is preceded in death by his wife, Diane. He is survived by his wife, Nancy; daughters, Vicki and Debbie; grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Paul E. Kondy, 84, died Feb. 1 in Grand Island, Neb. An American Baptist pastor he served rural churches in Kansas, South Dakota and Nebraska. He retired from the pastorate of First Baptist Church, Pierre, S.D. He is survived by his wife, Joanne; son, Timothy; daughter, Rachel Schroeder; and two grandchildren.
James Milton “Jim” Pitts, 83, died Jan. 18 in Greenville, S.C. He served Furman University from 1967 to his retirement in 2003 as assistant chaplain, university chaplain, and professor of religion (emeritus). One of the founders of Smyth & Helwys, he served as chairman of the board for the 26 years. In addition to serving as the editor of www.NextSundayWorship.com, he was principal photographer and editor of www.NextSundayGallery.com. An experienced pastoral counselor he worked in both congregational and hospital settings. Most recently he served as minister of pastoral support at First Baptist Church, Easley, S.C. He was preceded in death by his son, Stewart. He is survived by his wife, Nancy; son, Jonathan; and four grandchildren.
Branan G. Thompson Jr., 83, died Feb. 24 in Roanoke, Va. He served as a minister at both Tabernacle Baptist Church, Richmond, Va., and churches in the South Boston, Va. area before coming to Roanoke in 1968 to pastor Colonial Avenue Baptist Church, where he served for 30 years until retirement. He then was minister at Windsor Hills United Methodist Church for the next 20 years before retiring again. He is preceded in death by his wife, Gay. He is survived by two sons, John and Scott.
Victor Tupitza, 94, died Feb. 15 in Burke, Va. He was pastor of First Baptist Church of Manayunk, Philadelphia, Pa. He then became a writer for the American Baptist Convention in Valley Forge, Pa. In 1979 he moved to Washington, D.C., to become publisher of Report from the Capital for The Baptist Joint Committee. He is preceded in death by his wife, Sarah. He is survived by three sons, David, Peter and Jon; six grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.
Ken Wells, 40 years as pastor of Norview Baptist Church, Lewisville, Texas.
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