October 22, 2020
By Aaron Weaver
DECATUR, Ga. — Fellowship Southwest has announced its first leadership transition and is seeking applicants and nominations for its next leader to succeed founding coordinator Marv Knox, who launched the innovative and collaborative ecumenical network just over three years ago.
The new coordinator will serve alongside Knox for up to one year, thanks to a grant from the Eula Mae and John Baugh Foundation to provide continuity to the network in leadership and organizational development.
Fellowship Southwest launched in the summer of 2017 from the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship’s effort to strengthen ecumenical and multicultural collaboration, to produce positive change in Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and Southern California, and to provide avenues for people of faith to take action on issues affecting communities in these states.
Three weeks after Fellowship Southwest’s launch, Hurricane Harvey wreaked havoc to the Texas Coastal Bend and deluged Southeast Texas, prompting Knox to lead Fellowship Southwest in partnership with CBF Global, CBF churches and state and regional organizations to begin long-term recovery work. Most recently, Knox and Fellowship Southwest have assisted in the Rio Grande Valley and northeastern Mexico in the aftermath of Hurricane Hanna—faithfully living out its mission to improve lives and share the love of God with people whom others often discount and overlook.
During his tenure, Fellowship Southwest has established and continued to support a network of pastors who provide front-line ministry to refugees seeking asylum in the U.S.; ministered ecumenically across the Southwest region, building relationships and partnering with non-Baptist clergy, congregations and denominational leaders; expanded relationships with congregations and other partners transcending racial, ethnic and cultural identities; and provided support to pastors and churches through challenges such as COVID-19.
Knox has also led Fellowship Southwest to begin developing two theological education initiatives focused on strengthening preparation for ministry and delivering ministry training in Spanish and in the Latinx context, particularly along the U.S.-Mexico border.
CBF Executive Coordinator Paul Baxley praised Knox for the leadership provided in forming Fellowship Southwest.
“Marv Knox has offered significant and transformative leadership in the founding of Fellowship Southwest,” Baxley said. “In the initial years of this ministry, Fellowship Southwest has engaged Baptists and other Christians in disaster response, ministry along the U.S.-Mexico border and ecumenical outreach while also seeking new opportunities in theological education. Along the way, we have built a strong collaboration between Fellowship Southwest and the larger CBF family. I am grateful for Marv’s leadership and praying for the search committee as they seek a new coordinator for this ministry.”
Meredith Stone, executive director of Baptist Women in Ministry and chair of the Fellowship Southwest steering committee, emphasized that Knox has led Fellowship Southwest with “integrity, passion and tireless effort.”
“Starting with nothing more than a name and an idea, Marv created a robust network which has united Christians of goodwill in the Southwest around tangible actions of loving our neighbor and living out our faith,” Stone said.
Michael Mills, senior pastor of Agape Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas, and chair of the Fellowship Southwest search committee, called Knox the “right leader at the right time.”
“Fellowship Southwest has transformed from an idea to a burgeoning movement of restorative ministry and bridge-building at the hands of Marv,” Mill said. “He has been the right leader at the right time, and because of his selfless commitment to this cause, Fellowship Southwest and its next leader have a bright and exciting future.”
Knox praised the Fellowship Southwest search committee and expressed his excitement to work alongside the next coordinator during the leadership transition.
“This is a splendid development in the life cycle of Fellowship Southwest,” Knox said. “The search committee is strong, and its steering committee is stellar. I know they will make a tremendous choice from among what is sure to be an excellent field of candidates. I’m looking forward to working alongside the next coordinator for a season and then seeing what God has in store for this remarkable network.”
Visit fellowshipsouthwest.org/blog for additional information on the coordinator position and how to apply as well as submit nominations.
CBF is a Christian network that helps people put their faith into 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.