CBF expands Reference and Referral work to use vast network in key ministry areas


By CBF Communications

DECATUR, Ga.—As the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship’s Manager of Reference and Referral Craig Janney transitions out of the role, CBF is expanding its work connecting gifted ministers with passionate congregations across the Fellowship. In the expansion, CBF is harnessing the relationships of staff members in key strategic ministry areas and creating a team that works closely with ministers and churches.

The success of CBF’s Reference and Referral ministry is in no small part because of Janney’s efforts for more than four years in the role, building on the excellent work of Clarissa Strickland before him.

This new approach makes the most efficient and effective use of the vast network of individuals and congregations of CBF Executive Coordinator Paul Baxley, Director of Church Engagement Ruth Perkins Lee, Associate Coordinator of Congregations and Leadership Harry Rowland, Manager of Global Missions Engagement Ellen Sechrest and Manager of Leadership Development Josh Speight.

The staff will work in strictly confidential sessions as a team and with ministers and churches. A dedicated staff member will handle administration and provide timely responses to questions related to ministers and churches getting started in the process.

Baxley expressed his personal commitment and that of the Fellowship to this vital ministry for ministers and churches.

“CBF has been committed to Reference and Referral from the beginning,” Baxley said. “Over the years, we’ve handled the work in different ways as needs of people and churches changed. These vital connections require a high level of collaboration within CBF staff and across our Fellowship.”

For ministers and churches already in the LeaderConnect system, the team will reach out to them in the coming weeks to continue their Reference and Referral work.  LeaderConnect is a CBF-specific software platform that matches minister profiles and church profiles on multiple points of commonality.

Ministers seeking positions and churches seeking the right minster for their open position should contact Marianna Alzoukani at or 770.220.1635 to enter the LeaderConnect process.

Perkins Lee said the staff team is already at work.

“This expansion is the next natural step in the work of Reference and Referral. We want to leverage all of the resources and experiences available to us for support in this pivotal time in the life of the church and the life of the minister,” Perkins Lee said. “Whether individuals or churches are well into a search or just starting, we look forward to working together.”

CBF Reference and Referral is a free service to ministers and churches that is supported by financial gifts from individuals and churches to CBF.

For more information visit

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. 

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