Transitions 04.18.14

Please submit transitions — including staff changes, ordinations, anniversaries or deaths — to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. This page will be updated weekly.


Bruce Worley, to Western Heights Baptist Church, Waco, Texas, as pastor, effective May 25. He comes from the pastorate of Crosspointe Church in Oswego, Ill.

Dave Hawes, to Godwin Heights Baptist Church, Lumberton, N.C., as pastor. He comes from the pastorate of Fair Bluff Baptist Church, Wilmington, N.C.

Harry Smith, resigning as pastor of Ephesus Baptist Church, Chapel Hill, N.C.

Bruce Tippit, resigning as pastor of First Baptist Church, Jonesboro, Ark., effective June 6. He will join the staff of Global Outfitters, the missions arm of New Heights Church in Fayetteville, Ark., beginning July 1.

Graham Byrum, to The Memorial Baptist Church, Greenville, N.C., as interim minister of children and families.

Sara Hunt, to First Baptist Church, Glendale, Calif., as minister to families and outreach.

Bob Bailey, to First Baptist Church, Raleigh, N.C., as interim church administrator. He previously served pastorates in Virginia and then as director of missions of Eastern Baptist Association in N.C.

Stephen Durr, to First Baptist Church, Jamestown, N.C., as choir director.

Paul Freeman, to First Baptist Church, Lexington, N.C., as minister of music. He had served as choir director at First Reformed Church of Christ in Lexington for 27 years.

Amanda George, concluding her ministry leading children, youth and collegiate ministries at Williamsburg (Va.) Baptist Church.

April Alston, to Greystone Baptist Church, Raleigh, N.C., as associate minister to preschool and children.

Ricky Creech, resigning as executive director/minister of the District of Columbia Baptist Convention to join the staff of a faith-based nonprofit in Kentucky which provides services to troubled youth in Appalachia.

Lucas Dorion, to Alabama Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, as associate coordinator. He comes from College Park Baptist Church, Orlando, Fla., where he served as pastor for families with children and youth.


April V. Coleman, ordained to ministry on April 13 by Lafayette Baptist Church, Fayetteville, N.C., where she serves as minister to children and families.

Lee Gray, minister for youth and young adults at St. John’s Baptist Church, Charlotte, N.C., to be ordained to ministry by the church on May 18.

Deirdre LaNoue, minister of music at Valley Ranch Baptist Church, Coppell, Texas, ordained to ministry by the church on April 13.

Michael Mercier, ordained to ministry by First Baptist Church, Winchester, Mo., on Feb. 23. He has been serving as senior pastor there since 2011.


Charles Kwok, died April 9 in Warrington, Pa. He was a former general board member of the American Baptist Churches and co-founded of the Asian American Baptist Caucus. He had served as pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, New Haven, Conn., was founder of the Chinese Baptist Church of Greater Hartford, Conn., and an honorary professor of the Malaysia Baptist Theological Seminary. He is survived by his wife, Lily; daughter, Charlene; a son, Moody; and five grandchildren.

Harold W. Parker, 91, died April 8 in Henrico, Va. He had served as pastor of churches in Callao, Ringgold, Alexandria, Hamilton and Remington, Va., before retiring to Richmond in 1988. He is survived by his wife, Jeanie; sons Wayne, Richard and Nelson Parker; daughter, Melody Young; nine grandchildren and six great-granddaughters.

Leslie “Les” D. Rempel, 77, died April 5 in Bloomington, Ill. He was an American Baptist minister serving churches in Fort Dodge and Des Moines, Iowa, and Ottawa, Ill. From 1979 to 1996 he served as area minister for 50 American Baptist churches in the Great River Region. In retirement he served on the American Baptist General Board in Valley Forge, Pa., and the Ministers and Missionary Benefit Board in New York City. He is survived by his wife, Janie; two children, John P. Rempel and Cindy Bobrytzke; three grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Harvey W. Skinner, 78, died April 5 in Richmond, Va. He had served as pastor of Franklin Street Baptist Church, Lynchburg, Va.; Berea Baptist Church, Rockville, Va.; Woodlawn Baptist Church, Colonial Heights, Va.; and Marlow Heights Baptist Church, Front Royal, Va. He was interim pastor at Elm Street Baptist Church, Petersburg, Va., where he was instrumental in the congregation’s decision to give its facilities to St. Paul’s Baptist Church in Richmond for its Elm Street campus. He served as reference and referral coordinator for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Virginia and as a member of the Virginia Baptist Mission Board. He is survived by his wife, Barbara; two children, Vicki Lynne and Christopher Russ Skinner; and two grandchildren.

Orlando L. Tibbetts Jr., 94, died March 26 in Penney Farms, Fla. He was a former executive minister for American Baptist Churches of Connecticut, retiring after 11 years of service. He served pastorates in Massachusetts, Ohio and Rhode Island, and as executive secretary of the Boston Baptist Bethel City Mission Society. He is preceded in death by his wife, Phyllis. He is survived by two sons, Roger and Douglas Tibbets; two daughters, Faith T. Benedict and Judith Ann Foster; 12 grandchildren; and 29 great-grandchildren.


Dean Majette, 30 years, as pastor of Ox Hill Baptist Church, Chantilly, Va.

Ernie Forrester, 25 years, at Smoke Rise Baptist Church, Stone Mountain, Ga. He came to the church as youth minister in 1989 and became associate pastor in 2008.

Rich Williams, 10 years, as director of youth ministries at First Baptist Church, Midland, Mich.

Charles Lentz, 18 years, as minister of music for First Baptist Church, Blowing Rock, N.C.