New Baptist collegiate ministers assume roles at Virginia campuses

The schools include two of the state’s largest and one of its oldest.

By Robert Dilday

The Virginia Baptist Mission Board has named collegiate ministers at two of Virginia’s largest universities and a third minister has been given a multi-campus assignment which includes the state’s third oldest college.

Blake Tommey begins work Aug. 15 at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, where more than 23,000 students are enrolled in undergraduate and graduate studies. Tommey is a graduate of Samford University in Birmingham, Ala., and Mercer University’s McAfee School of Theology in Atlanta, and has held youth and student ministry positions at churches in Alabama, Georgia and Texas. He succeeds Evan Hanson, who recently took a position with a real estate agency in Charlottesville.

Nic Uebel has begun ministry at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. Uebel transitioned to the campus with more than 31,000 students from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, where he was an associate Baptist collegiate minister. He holds degrees from Virginia Tech and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Uebel takes over responsibilities from Nathan Elmore, who had been serving as interim collegiate minister.

Janice Kiehm assumed Baptist collegiate ministry responsibilities in the Farmville area Aug. 1. In that role she coordinates work on two campuses — the 4,800 student Longwood University in Farmville and nearby Hampden-Sydney College, one of a small number of all-male colleges in the nation. Founded in 1775, the college is the third oldest in Virginia, after the College of William and Mary and Washington and Lee University. Kiehm is a graduate of Campbellsville (Ky.) University and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., and has been a minister to children and families at churches in Georgia and South Carolina. Her husband, Ronnie, is pastor of Farmville Baptist Church. Her predecessor, Cheri Wise, has moved to Texas to be closer to aging parents.

Meanwhile, two part-time collegiate ministers also have taken up assignments. Caitie Walsh, a student at Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, is ministering at the University of Richmond, and Megan Buchanan, a graduate of the University of Virginia’s College at Wise, is coordinating work on that campus in Southwest Virginia. Conan and Christy Sherlin, former collegiate ministers at Wise, have taken a similar position at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, La.

The Virginia Baptist Mission Board coordinates collegiate ministry through its emerging leaders team and its Kairos Initiative, a ministry to college-aged young adults.