SBTC board fills staff vacancies, re-elects slate of board officers

AUSTIN?The Southern Baptists of Texas Convention’s Executive Board, in its regularly scheduled fall meeting Nov. 15 in Austin, re-elected its officers and added two new ministry associates to fill vacant positions in the SBTC’s missions and minister-church relations areas.

The board also asked SBTC President Steve Swofford to include in a letter to Wal-Mart executives its gratitude for the company’s reinstated policy recognizing the Christmas holiday. Swofford will include the board’s sentiments in a letter he is to write citing the convention’s opposition to Wal-Mart’s corporate support of homosexual activist groups.

The board re-elected by acclamation Joe Stewart, pastor of First Baptist Church of Littlefield, as board chairman, Dale Perry, pastor of Friendly Baptist Church in Tyler, as vice chairman, and Kim Lawson of Sherman as recording secretary.

Tom Campbell, pastor of Southside Baptist Church in Carthage, was elected as a ministry associate in the minister-church relations area, filling a vacancy left by Troy Brooks, who is now minister-church relations director. Brooks moved to that position after Deron Biles left the convention staff to become dean of extension education at Southwestern Seminary.

Campbell, an Oklahoma Baptist University graduate who holds a Ph.D. and master of divinity degree from Southwestern, told the board of growing up at MacArthur Boulevard Baptist Church in Irving under the preaching of the late Ron Dunn. Saved at age 8, Campbell said he was 19 or 20 when he sensed God telling him, “This is it. This is what you’re going to do.”

Barry K. Calhoun, missions director at North Garland Baptist Fellowship, was elected as a church planting ministry associate on the SBTC missions team. Calhoun’s election fills a vacancy left by Leroy Fountain, who is joining the North American Mission Board staff. Calhoun is a graduate of Dallas Baptist University. In addition to ministry experience, Calhoun spent six years handling sales and contract negotiations and has owned his own business.

In sharing his testimony of conversion as a youngster, Calhoun said: “I was afraid of going to hell, and that’s been a catalyst for many of the life decisions I’ve made since then,” he said.

SBTC Chief Financial Officer Joe Davis told the board that through October, the convention was $283,000 ahead of Cooperative Program budget receipts and had a net operating income of $1.275 million.

The board also referred to its administrative committee a request for up to $100,000 in 2006 budget surplus funds to go towards a new chapel at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

The $100,000 grant proposal comes from the board’s executive committee. The Southwestern trustees recently approved a master revitalization plan that includes construction of a 106,000-square-foot, 3,500-seat chapel.

“This project has been a dream and goal of many people,” said Mike Hughes, vice president for development at Southwestern. Hughes told the board that with the new chapel the school could hold graduation services on campus.

Currently, graduation is held at Travis Avenue Baptist Church in Fort Worth.

TEXAN Correspondent
Jerry Pierce
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