April 1, 2019
By Carrie Harris
A respected missions and spiritual formation minister with nearly 30 years experience serving the local congregations has joined the CBF staff in Decatur, Ga., to support the church engagement and global missions work of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.
Ellen Sechrest joined the CBF staff on February 18 as Manager of Global Missions Engagement. She brings 29 years of local church experience as a youth minister and minister of missions and spiritual formation. Nearly 27 of these years were spent at Boulevard Baptist Church, a CBF partner church in Anderson, S.C.
A North Carolina native, Sechrest is a graduate of Mars Hill College and Southern Seminary. She brings great knowledge and experience to this role that connects churches across the Fellowship more deeply with CBF Global Missions and the ministries of field personnel serving across the globe.
Ruth Perkins Lee, CBF’s Director of Church Engagement, emphasized the passion and experience that Sechrest brings to the staff.
“Ellen brings extensive and significant experiences to this unique staff position on the Church Engagement Team,” Perkins Lee said. “Her long-term presence on a church staff enabled her to create deep relationships between the church and the work of CBF. In the intersection of Church Engagement and Global Missions, Ellen’s passion for the local church and love of missions will expand CBF’s ability to serve churches as they fulfill their God-given mission.”
Sechrest sees this new calling as an opportunity to connect with and learn from Fellowship churches that are doing missions well and are looking for deeper ways to engage.
“I am excited about the opportunity to meet and learn from the great churches in CBF that do missions so well,” Sechrest said. “I am compelled by the idea of networking churches and mission to be and to do so much more then we already are, knowing that God will walk the journey with us as we work for the good of all people.”
CBF Global Missions Coordinator Steven Porter noted Sechrest’s commitment to the ministry of reconciliation and mission within the congregation that helps to bring about the Kingdom of God.
“The local church—as well as a fellowship of local churches like CBF—always must wrestle with how the mission of the triune God translates into the daily life and work of the congregation,” Porter said. “We are not the author of mission, God is; but as the body of Christ in the world, God entrusts us with the ministry of reconciliation inaugurated in Jesus. Ellen has made that work of translation her life’s work. From her long tenure in the local church to her leadership roles in Project Ruth and Global Women, Ellen has worked directly with CBF field personnel and Global Missions Engagement Partners to bring heaven to earth. The wider Fellowship will benefit tremendously from her wisdom and presence.”
In this changing culture, churches are facing new challenges. Sechrest comes to CBF with an understanding of the needs and anxieties of local congregations and the people in the pews in the face of change. As she faces change herself, she asks that Cooperative Baptists pray for her as she begins this new role. Sechrest also offered her prayer for the Fellowship.
“As the Manager of Global Missions Engagement, I am praying for opportunities and invitations from churches to learn from and engage more deeply into missions, to find ways to draw more people into the work of CBF, and to network us all for the good of the Kingdom.”
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. Learn more at http://www.cbf.net.