By Carrie McGuffin
DECATUR, Ga. — The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship has named a minister with a background in university and local church settings to head its Congregational Reference and Referral work.
Craig Janney, as CBF’s Congregational Reference and Referral Specialist, will connect churches with individuals seeking ministry positions throughout the Fellowship and equip search committees with resources for filling positions within their church staff.
Janney comes to CBF from Chowan University in Murfreesboro, N.C., where he served for the past eight years in the student affairs, enrollment management and academic affairs departments.
After graduating from Chowan, Janney completed a Master of Divinity degree in Pastoral Studies from the Gardner-Webb University School of Divinity in Boiling Springs, N.C. In 2009 he was ordained by the First Baptist Church of Ahoskie, N.C. From 2010 to 2015, Janney served as pastor of Mt. Carmel Baptist Church in Seaboard, N.C.
The Reference and Referral Specialist position was formerly held by Clarissa Strickland, who retired last summer but continued her work of connecting individuals with churches on a contract basis throughout the search to fill the position.
Strickland has served with CBF since 1991, taking on her role with CBF’s Reference and Referral program in 2002. Through her dedicated ministry, many Baptist leaders have found their first ministries or ministry homes.
Janney joins the CBF staff at an exciting time for the Reference and Referral program, as the Ministries team seeks to deepen and widen the ministry for which Strickland laid the foundation.
“Having the opportunity to train under Clarissa Strickland is a tremendous blessing,” Janney said. “The work she has done for CBF churches is utterly profound. Being called to continue her work and expand the ministry of Reference and Referral is truly an honor.”
Along with the LeaderConnect system, which helps with leadership matching for churches and applicants, the vision for Reference and Referral is to create and provide a wealth of resources for church search committees, recent graduates, individuals seeking church positions and those looking to employ all church positions.
CBF Director of Ministries Ruth Perkins Lee emphasized the importance of expanding this program of CBF to provide the most benefit to churches.
“The hiring of a minister is an important time in the life of a church,” Perkins Lee said. “CBF is in a unique position to serve as a resource to both the church and the candidate before, during and after the search process.”
Perkins Lee noted that Janney’s background in both the university and local church will bring a new perspective to the Reference and Referral program and the Ministries team.
“As a church member and as a staff member, Craig knows the value of a healthy search process that leads to a healthy relationship between a church and a staff member,” Perkins Lee said. “Craig’s experience, passion and commitment to collaboration will make him a great asset to the CBF staff and Ministries team.”
Janney shared his excitement to serve CBF congregations and individuals through the work of leadership matching.
“I am looking forward to developing and nurturing relationships with our congregations and clergy. Forming together with the growing network of Cooperative Baptists is important Kingdom Work. The opportunity to outfit our churches with our ministers sustains the future of the Fellowship as we partner in renewing God’s world.”
To learn more about LeaderConnect and CBF’s Reference and Referral program, visit www.cbf.net/leaderconnect.
CBF is a Christian Network that helps people put their faith to practice through ministry efforts, global missions and a broad community of support.The Fellowship’s mission is to serve Christians and churches as they discover and fulfill their God-given mission.