Many of you have heard by now that the Lord has given Jeannine and me peace about the next steps in our journey with Him. I have presented to our Executive Board Chairman, Tom Savage, that it is my plan to retire from the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana as of June 30, 2021.

We felt called in 1975 to become part of the staff of the Baptist Temple Church in Oklahoma City. We felt a strong call in 1985 to leave the comfort of home, family, friends and networks, to move 800 miles away to serve at Northside Baptist Church in Indianapolis. Again, with God’s comforting and reassuring touch, He led us in 2006 to become part of the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana. In 2017 we felt God’s still small voice tell us through you (SCBI) that He wanted to call me to be the Executive Director of the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana. And now, in 2021 He has once again given us a peace that it is time to retire from SCBI and go to the next chapter.

  • Thank you SCBI family for adopting us and taking us in.
  • Thank you for working together on Sunday School projects like the Minister of Education Project with Lifeway and developing a coaching network of trained coaches.
  • Thank you to all of the churches that we have trained in team ministry and leadership skills.
  • Thank you to the churches that have walked through assessments to try to make their ministry stronger.
  • Thank you for attending training events designed to help your leaders in groups, preschool, children, students and adults.
  • Thank you to the churches who have brought young people to camps at Highland Lakes and watched as their lives were changed by that experience.
  • Thank you to those churches who have called to get help during transitional periods in the life of their church.
  • Thank you to those who participated in discipleship training events and processes.
  • Thank you to the 80 pastors who walked through the High Impact Leader Labs.
  • Thank you for adopting the principles and idea of us being better together.
  • Thank you to the gracious pastors and their wives who have attended the retreats and meetings that we pray were an encouragement to you.
  • Thank you to the many staff members who I have served with, led and learned from.
  • Thank you to Dr. Steve Davis and Dr. Cecil Seagle who led me, mentored me and became great friends.

Jeannine and I have struggled with this next step. We believe He is leading us to Orlando to be near our daughter Melissa who in 2017 was diagnosed with MS. We have felt for a while that we would like to be near her in case she gets to a place where she needs help. And of course, as we get younger, they can help us. Our son Michael is also looking at the possibility of moving to the Orlando area. To have our son and daughter (son-in-law and grandkids) in the same area, would be the trifecta.

I have submitted a letter of retirement to the Executive Board Chairman which states that my retirement is effective as of June 30, 2021. The search process has already begun. Our Bylaws state that the search team is to be made up of the current Administrative Committee and chaired by the Chairman of the Board, Tom Savage. The Search Team consists of:

  • Chairman, Tom Savage
  • John Newland, pastor of Fall Creek BC, Indianapolis (Vice-Chairman)
  • Bev Whitely, layperson, Rykers Ridge BC, Madison (Board Recording Secretary)
  • Bobby Pell, pastor of Northwoods Church, Evansville (Convention President)
  • Greg Byman, pastor of St. Joe Community Church, Ft Wayne
  • Dan DeFriece, pastor of Calvary BC, Seymour
  • Larry Lewis, pastor of Vann Ave BC, Evansville
  • Dennis Runner, International Student Minister, Purdue University, W. Lafayette

We will be getting out more information about how to submit resumes or recommendations for the next Executive Director very soon. The Search Team has had one meeting already and has a second scheduled in February. Please be in prayer for them.

Until then I am working as if I were to be here for ten more years. We have a number of things going on that I hope you will become an advocate of. One is the Denominee process where leaders from around SCBI have been working for over a year to develop a new Mission – Vision – Values – Strategy – Measures. These are not fellowship breaking ideas. They are intended to be things that will encapsulate who we are, how we accomplish His mission and where we are going as the SCBI. These should bring us together. The mission is for us to “partner with churches to discover and fulfill their next step.” Where is God leading your church? Let’s work on the first step and then the next step to help us accomplish His mission in your unique ministry context.

Until Next Time,