April 13, 2017
By Jeff Huett and Aaron Weaver
DECATUR, Ga. – A preeminent Baptist journalist and thought leader in Texas who has covered the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship from its inception will join the CBF staff to promote Baptist identity, Christian cooperation and effective missions and ministry in the Southwest United States.
Marv Knox, the editor/publisher of the Baptist Standard Publishing Company headquartered in Dallas, will join the CBF staff as field coordinator of Fellowship Southwest on August 1. He has served at the Baptist Standard since 1999, where he currently edits a weekly digital news journal and a print magazine called CommonCall.
Fellowship Southwest is a new regional network announced in February that will supplement the work of three autonomous CBF state/regional organizations — CBF of Texas, CBF of Oklahoma and CBF West. It is a part of a CBF expansion initiative that includes further integration of the CBF Latino Network into Cooperative Baptist life, as well as advocacy efforts, support for theological education and ecumenical partnerships.
Knox said he looks forward to committing the balance of his ministry to Fellowship Southwest and to the opportunity to work alongside the many faithful, missions-minded Baptists that comprise CBF of Texas, CBF of Oklahoma and CBF West “to embody Christ for hurting people across the Southwest and beyond.”
“The opportunity to work for CBF and to lead Fellowship Southwest is an unexpected, exciting gift,” Knox said. “CBF always has impressed me with its courageous commitment to Baptist principles, particularly the priesthood of all believers and the autonomy of the local church.
“I love CBF’s fearless embrace of those principles, which assumes and calls out the best in one another and courageously collaborates to advance the gospel. Also, I’ve always been humbled by CBF’s passionate desire to share the love of Jesus with people in a world without borders.”
CBF Executive Coordinator Suzii Paynter said Knox is the right person at the right time to lead an expansion of CBF missions, ministry and partnership in the Southwest.
“This is a great day for CBF and for Cooperative Baptists and partner churches across Texas, Oklahoma and the West,” Paynter said. “Marv is the answer to prayer for a leader to step forward that has a heart for communicating, connecting and advocating for all of God’s children,” Paynter said. “At a time when forming together is more important than ever, Marv will use his vast network and his immense talents to help enhance and equip the work of churches and partners.
“He loves the church and has been telling the story of everyday miracles and remarkable ministries in Texas and beyond,” Paynter continued. “Congregations new and old look forward to sharing in his gifts as Fellowship Southwest expands a diverse table of faithful ministry partners across the Southwest from Texas to California.”
Dr. Bill J. Leonard, a CBF Governing Board member and professor at the Wake Forest University School of Divinity, highlighted Knox’s ability to challenge Christians to put their faith into action outside the church walls.
“Marv Knox is an insightful analyst of Baptist life and identity, past, present and future,” Leonard said. “As editor of at the Baptist Standard, Marv challenged Christians in general and Baptists in particular to live out faith not only in the church but also in the public square. CBF-related congregations and individuals will benefit greatly from his insights and his courage.”
Dr. Kyle Reese, pastor of Hendricks Avenue Baptist Church, in Jacksonville, Fla., said Knox, as “a voice of faithfulness and truth,” is the “perfect person to lead CBF in this new venture.”
“Marv Knox knows Cooperative Baptists in the Southwest. More importantly, Cooperative Baptists in the Southwest know Marv Knox,” Reese said. “He is a trusted voice of faithfulness and truth for many people around the nation, but especially the Southwest.”
Dr. Molly T. Marshall, president and professor of theology and spiritual formation at Central Baptist Theological Seminary, reflected on Knox’s ability to tell the Baptist story.
“Marv Knox has demonstrated his capacity to articulate the Baptist story in a forthright and articulate manner,” Marshall said. “Advocating for Baptist principles is the emblem of his life, both through his writing and personal influence. I am delighted that his significant skill in communicating the mission of the Fellowship will serve this new initiative. His experience bridges both the past and the future of CBF, and he will strengthen our common life.”
Dr. Steve Wells, pastor of South Main Baptist Church in Houston and a CBF Governing Board member echoed themes of trust, saying “If Marv Knox is part of it, count me in.”
“Marv Knox has a well-earned reputation as one of the most trusted people in Baptist life. He has led the Baptist Standard with integrity, covering every facet of Baptist life,” Wells said. “His editorials have fearlessly spoken to (not merely for) Texas Baptists, often reminding us of our greater convictions on the difficult matters of the day. I could not be more thrilled to know he will lend his considerable gifts and his personal leadership to the formation of a new missions endeavor across the Southwest.”
Dr. Don Williford, dean of the Logsdon School of Theology at Hardin-Simmons University, said he has “long appreciated Marv as a prophetic voice among Texas Baptists in particular as we have journeyed through troubled waters on numerous issues.”
“Marv Knox is a friend and colleague in the efforts to encourage an informed and theologically educated community of Baptists,” Williford said. “Marv is a person of highest integrity. I think he will serve to bring greater cooperation and strength to CBF in Texas, Oklahoma and the West. I believe he will be a voice of reason and compassion as we seek to promote the work of the Kingdom through the churches partnering with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.”
Dr. Meredith Stone, a member of the Baptist Standard Board of Directors and director of ministry guidance and instructor of Christian ministry and Scripture at Logsdon, spoke highly of Knox’s leadership of the Standard and said she was “excited to see how this new network will take shape.”
“Marv Knox has led the Baptist Standard with vision, connectedness, and a prophetic voice for many years,” she said. “In addition to the skills with which he has successfully led the Baptist Standard, Marv’s deep devotion to the church’s role in bringing redemption to this world make him especially well-suited to become the first coordinator of Fellowship Southwest.”
Knox earned a Master of Divinity degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and an undergraduate degree from Hardin-Simmons University. Among his other professional work, he has served as editor of the Western Recorder of the Kentucky Baptist Convention and associate editor of the Baptist Message of the Louisiana Baptist Convention.
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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.