Assembly continues Friday morning with celebration of churches and business

By Aaron Weaver and Emily Holladay

The 2014 Cooperative Baptist Fellowship General Assembly continued Friday morning with a celebration of churches, music from Grammy Award-winning singer Cynthia Clawson and a time of business.

Preston Clegg, pastor of Second Baptist Church in Little Rock, Ark., spoke about why he loves his church and CBF Leadership Scholar Erica Lea offered a litany on giving thanks for churches.

CBF Moderator Bill McConnell called the Friday business session to order and the Assembly adopted the Governing Board’s proposed CBF missions and ministries budget of $12.4 million for the 2014-2015 fiscal year, which begins October 1.

Moderator Bill McConnell

Moderator Bill McConnell

The Assembly also adopted the report of the CBF Nominating Committee to fill the remaining slots on the councils and boards that comprise CBF’s governance structure. Attendees affirmed the committee’s recommendation of Matt Cook, pastor of First Baptist Church in Wilmington, N.C., to serve as the Fellowship’s Moderator-Elect. Cook, a graduate of Baylor University’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary, served as a CBF Governing Board member and Advancement Committee member in 2013-2014.

Attendees also adopted recommendations from the Governing Board for the following individuals to serve on the Nominating Committee:

  • John Daughtery, Pastor, CityGate Ministries, Fort Myers, Fla.
  • Susan Fendley, Attorney (retired), Knoxville, Tenn.
  • Tamara Tillman, Minister of Education/Administration, First Baptist Church, Rome, Ga.
  • James Touchton, Protestant Chaplain, Ithaca College, Ithaca, N.Y.

Jason Coker, pastor of Wilton Baptist Church in Wilton, Conn., was also selected to serve another term as CBF Recorder.

Mimi Walker, chair of the CBF Missions Council, and Michael Cheuk, chair of the CBF Ministries Council, delivered reports on the work of their respective councils. Walker highlighted the selection of Steven Porter as the new CBF Global Missions Coordinator and Cheuk outlined the Ministries Council’s areas of focus in the coming year.

“In the coming year, the fully populated Ministries Council will focus on five areas of mapping our assets, curating and vetting those assets to identify resources most helpful to our churches, connecting churches and ministry partners for collaborative networks, developing and deploying assets that we don’t currently have and thinking through and implementing the funding of those four areas,” Cheuk said.

Michael Cheuk

Michael Cheuk

“We are convinced that the resources that the, innovative ideas, the best ministry incubators, the best practices and the ministry incubators reside not within this council or the national CBF staff, but within our congregations, our ministry partners, our state and regional fellowships, our seminaries and our chaplains,” Cheuk said. “Our goal is to create an ecosystem in which all of us are woven together to collaborate and work so that our churches are equipped to grow toward maturity as vibrant communities of the presence of Christ and public witnesses for those whose voices are left unheard in our society.”

The Assembly heard a report on the work of the Governing Board from Matt Cook. Cook noted that during the past year the Board had reviewed and revised funding policies related to Global Missions, conducted an in-depth review of the current field personnel structure, authorized a change in the funding covenant between CBF and CBF Texas and initiated a brand audit for CBF to review the organization’s communications strategies and techniques.

Cook shared that the entire Governing Board had made a personal financial commitment to the Fellowship.

“As board members, we all thought it was imperative for us to make a personal financial commitment to the mission and ministries of the Fellowship,” Cook said. “I’m proud to share with that you 100 percent of the Governing Board has made a personal contribution to the work of CBF over and above the contributions we make through our churches. We believe in the good things that the Fellowship is doing together and we invite you to join us in supporting that work with your time, with your prayers and with your financial resources.”

In celebration of its 20th anniversary, the CBF Foundation presented two awards and also announced a third award to be given in future years. CBF of Georgia was awarded the first-ever CBF Foundation “Award of Excellence for Generous Partnership Giving.”

James R. Smith

James R. Smith

“Frank Broome, Executive Coordinator of CBF of Georgia, has been a longtime advocate for support and partnership within the CBF community,” said CBF Foundation President James R. Smith. “Both Frank and CBF of Georgia have been generous in giving money and other resources, influence, time, insight — and the list goes on.”

Keith and Jeanie McGowan were named the first recipients of the “Award of Excellence in Generous Giving for Community Development.”

“The McGowans sold their beautiful dream retirement home, bought, moved into and renovated two 100-year-old-plus tenement buildings, down the street from the state prison,” Smith said. “Their decision to live on Cherry Street in downtown Jefferson City, Mo., provided comfortable affordable housing for those in need, brought the presence of Christ into the neighborhood and into the lives of single parents, their children and the wider community.”

Smith also announced that Patricia Ayres, a founding trustee of CBF Foundation and the Fellowship’s second Moderator, had been recognized earlier in the morning with a new annual award named in her honor.

Bo Prosser and Suzii Paynter presented the third annual Daniel and Earlene Vestal Scholarship to two students who exemplify leadership within the Fellowship, Maryanne Henderson of Duke Divinity School and Daniel Potter of Wake University School of Divinity. The Vestal Scholarship has been awarded since 2011 to honor the Vestals’ many years of service to the Fellowship and the mentorship they have offered to young adults in CBF life.

The Assembly heard from outgoing Moderator Bill McConnell who shared about the Fellowship’s accomplishments over the past two years — from relocating CBF offices to downtown Decatur, Ga., to the selection of a new chaplaincy endorser and new Global Missions coordinator. McConnell expressed thanks to Cooperative Baptists for giving him the responsibility and opportunity to serve as an elected officer.

“The Fellowship is in good hands going forward,” McConnell said. “And, it is poised to do great things for God’s Kingdom in the days and years to come.”

In the absence of Kasey Jones, pastor of National Baptist Memorial Church and incoming CBF Moderator, Trisha Miller Manarin, coordinator of the MidAtlantic CBF, offered words of affirmation for Jones.

Trisha Miller Manarin

Trisha Miller Manarin

“The church Kasey pastors, National Baptist Memorial Church, was established in the early 1900s in memorial to Roger Williams for all Baptists in our nation,” Miller Manarin said. “In the centennial year of the church, Kasey Jones was called as the first female pastor and the first African American pastor of the church. It was also in this year that Kasey was introduced to CBF.

“Kasey is part of the new growing legacy of CBF. She has not come from the lived historical experience of the conflict in which CBF was born. … NBMNC was a stranger to CBF and was invited in. The church has experienced the hospitality of the Lord in and through CBF. Their pastor, our new Moderator, was a stranger to this movement and was invited in. … What if we began to weave with them a tapestry only God can imagine?”

Miller Manarin also shared words from Jones to the Fellowship. “It is time to claim our identity,” Jones said. “As Moderator, I would love for us to own and continue to live into the powerful legacy as Baptists that cooperate with Christians and churches to discover and fulfill their God-given mission.”  

The full list of 2014-2015 Governing Board, Ministries Council and Missions Council leaders are listed below with newly-selected members in italics.


  • Kasey Jones, Moderator; Senior Pastor, National Baptist Memorial Church, Washington, D.C.
  • Bill McConnell, Immediate Past Moderator; Partner, Rogers & Morgan Inc., Knoxville, Tenn.
  • Matt Cook, Moderator-Elect, Pastor, First Baptist Church, Wilmington, N.C.


  • Kasey Jones, Moderator; Senior Pastor, National Baptist Memorial Church, Washington, D.C.
  • Gary Dollar, Partner, EMD Consulting Group, Edwardsville, Ill.
  • Doug Dortch, Senior Minister, Mountain Brook Baptist Church, Birmingham, Ala.
  • Wayne Patterson, Professor Emeritus, Clemson University, Clemson, S.C.
  • Camille Allen Snyder, Recruiting Director, Allen Financial Group, Jackson, Miss.
  • Steve Wells, Pastor, South Main Baptist Church, Houston, Texas
  • Jean Willingham, Realtor, St. Petersburg, Fla.
  • Patricia Wilson, Professor of Law, Baylor University, Waco, Texas
  • Joy Yee, Pastor, Nineteenth Ave Baptist Church, San Francisco, Calif.
  • Paul Baxley, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church, Athens, Ga.(current Governing Board Member nominated to an additional term)
  • Daniel Carro, Professor of Divinity, John Leland Center for Theological Studies, Falls Church, Va.(current Governing Board Member nominated to an additional term)
  • Charles Fuller, Minister of Congregational Life/Administration, Second Baptist Church, Little Rock, Ark.
  • Steve Little, Attorney, Little and Lattimore P. A., Marion, N.C.



  • Michael Cheuk, Chair; Senior Minister, University Baptist Church, Charlottesville, Va.
  • Emily Hull-McGee, Chair-Elect; Minister to Young Adults, Highland Baptist Church, Louisville, Ky.
  • Leta Tillman, Staff, Hardin-Simmons University, Abilene, Texas.
  • Tommy Bratton, Minister of Christian Formation, First Baptist Church, Asheville, N.C.
  • Greg Dover, Associate Pastor, Earle Street Baptist Church, Greenville, S.C.
  • Leonard Ezell, Pastor, Northwest Baptist Church, Ardmore, Okla.
  • Jillian Farmer, Minister to Youth, Kirkwood Baptist Church, St. Louis, Mo.
  • Dixie Ford, Minister of Worship and Families, Crosscreek Baptist Church, Pelham, Ala.
  • Exter Hardy, Pastor, Pole Line Road Baptist, Davis, Calif.
  • Cynthia Insko, Children’s Minister, First Baptist Church, Frankfort, Ky.
  • Shaun King, Pastor, Johns Creek Baptist Church, Alpharetta, Ga.
  • Griff Martin, Co-Pastor, University Baptist Church, Baton Rouge, La.
  • Christina Perkins, Associate Pastor, University Baptist Church, Baltimore, Md.
  • Thomas Quisenberry, Pastor, First Baptist Church, Chattanooga, Tenn.
  • Brittany Riddle, Minister to Adults, Vinton Baptist Church, Vinton, Va.
  • Bob Searl, Pastor, North Stuart Baptist Church, N. Stuart, Fla.
  • Paul Soley, Vice President, Real Estate Services, Dwellworks Property Advisors LLC, Wilton, Conn.
  • Kat Spangler, Associate Pastor, University Baptist Church, Hattiesburg, Miss.
  • Chester Thompson, Pastor, Zion Hill Baptist Church, Pine Bluff, Ark.
  • Cindy Wallace, Chaplain, Alexian Brothers Medical Center, Carpentersville, Ill.



  • Mike Oliver, Chair; Senior Pastor, Trinity Baptist Church, Madison, Ala.
  • Mimi Walker, Past Chair; Pastor, Druid Hills Baptist, Church, Atlanta, Ga.
  • Alice Mull, Retired, Secondary English Teacher, Elizabethtown, Ky.
  • Alan Sherouse, Pastor, First Baptist Church, Greensboro, N.C.
  • Allan Clark, Retired, First Baptist Church, Leland, Miss.
  • Christy Edwards, Second Baptist Church, Liberty, Mo.
  • Frances Ford, Executive Director for Sowing Seeds of Hope, Perry County, Ala.
  • Beverly Greer, Retired, Belton, S.C.
  • Daniel Johnson, Associate Minister of Students and Missions, Second Baptist Church, Memphis, Tenn.
  • Rickey Letson, Senior Pastor, FBC Laurens, Laurens, S.C.
  • Jeremy Lewis, Group Facilitation in Urban Agriculture, Clarkston Development Foundation, Clarkston, Ga.
  • Caleb Oladipo, Professor of Christian Mission, Baptist Theological Seminary, Richmond, Va.
  • Ruben Ortiz, Pastor, Primera Iglesia Hispana de Deltona, Deltona, Fla.
  • Alan Rudnick, Pastor, First Baptist Church, Ballston Spa, N.Y.
  • Amy Wilkins, Missions Minister, Valley Ranch Baptist Church in Coppell, Texas

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