By CBF Communications
The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship has named 16 ministers in their “first-call” as CBF Fellows for 2020-2022. These ministers represent the fifth cohort of the CBF Fellows program, an initiative launched in 2012 with support from the Lilly Foundation to assist young clergy in their “first-call” in making a healthy transition from seminary into congregational ministry. CBF makes a two-year commitment to each minister in the cohort and to his or her congregation to support, learn from and inspire each of them so that they may thrive as ministers now and for years to come.
CBF Fellows aims to build upon the foundation laid during the critical training years of seminary and divinity school to assist congregational ministers in connecting their academic learning to the practical work of the local church. As a two-year cohort, CBF Fellows are provided with resources including six face-to-face gatherings, peer learning and guidance, mentoring, one-on-one coaching and learning experiences designed around CBF events to ensure maximum exposure to the missions, ministries and resources of the Fellowship.
The local church also plays a vital role during a CBF Fellow’s cohort experience. In addition to providing time off for learning experiences, congregations establish a Minister Encouragement Team for their Fellow. This team of six to eight people offers regular encouragement and stability to the young minister. They also provide space for the Fellow to share their learnings after each gathering. The congregation enters into a covenant with the Fellow and with CBF to regularly pray for their minister during the two-year program.
“The continued investment in the lives of CBF ministers in their early service years is crucial for CBF congregations,” said Joshua Speight, CBF’s manager of leadership development and director of CBF Fellows. “In the first years of congregational service, ministers need to be surrounded with a variety of support, encouragement and prayer so that they thrive and are committed to the long-term work of congregational ministry. Ministers who have a supportive peer group, mentors and coaching are more likely to avoid burnout and to stay in this type of ministry for many years.”
The naming of the 2020-2022 cohort comes at a unique time as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt life. As all ministers and congregations are quickly adapting to this changing culture, CBF is considering ways that the Fellows program can provide support and encouragement to this new cohort before their first gathering later this year in October.
The 2020-2022 cohort is the fifth group of ministers named as CBF Fellows, bringing the total number of Fellows to 98. They represent a variety of CBF congregations, nine CBF states and regions, and 10 seminaries and divinity schools. Additionally, seven members of this cohort serve alongside Fellows alumni or at congregations that have previously supported a minister in the Fellows program.
CBF is proud to name the individuals below to the 2020-2022 CBF Fellows cohort
- Kan’Dace Brock, The Message Church, San Antonio, Texas
- Lucy Cauthen, Boulevard Baptist Church, Anderson, S.C.
- Preston Cooley, Trinity Baptist Church, Seneca, S.C.
- Emmitt Drumgoole, Second Baptist Church, Liberty, Mo.
- Eric Fulcher, University Baptist Church, Baton Rouge, La.
- Emily Harbin, First Baptist Church, Athens, Ga.
- Alice Horner-Nelson, Calvary Baptist Church, Denver, Colo.
- Jeffrey Howard, New Hope Christian Fellowship, West Columbia, S.C.
- Tyler Ingram, Hayes Barton Baptist Church, Raleigh, N.C.
- Israel Loachamin, First Baptist Church, Waco, Texas
- Brittany McDonald Null, First Baptist Church, Columbia, Mo.
- William Reilly, Faith Baptist Church, Georgetown, Ky.
- Molly Tucker, Ridgewood Baptist Church, Louisville, Ky.
- Kelsey Vincent, First Baptist Church, Decatur, Ga.
- Amanda Willhite, Believers Baptist Fellowship, Hendersonville, Tenn.
- Bryce Williams, Easley First Baptist Church, Easley, S.C.
Watch the video below to learn more about the CBF Fellows program and hear from past Fellows as they share how the program helped to shape their first-call ministry.