2021 General Assembly / Newsroom

Alabama lay leader Debbie McDaniel to become CBF Moderator-Elect at 2021 General Assembly

By Aaron Weaver

DECATUR, Ga. — A lay leader deeply involved in CBF and member of First Baptist Church, Huntsville, Ala., is the nominee to become the next Moderator-Elect for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship at the 2021 General Assembly.

The CBF Nominating Committee has selected Debbie McDaniel to serve as Moderator-Elect in 2021-2022 and Moderator in 2022-2023. McDaniel—a self-described “church volunteer and substitute teacher who loves what I do and whom I serve”—has been a participant in CBF life for many years at the national and state levels (Alabama and previously Oklahoma), and is an especially devoted and involved member of her local church.

For the past five years, McDaniel has served on the CBF Ministries Council and was its chair in 2020-2021. She has also served on CBF’s A New Covenant Commission as well as on the coordinating councils of Alabama CBF and Oklahoma CBF. She is currently a member of the Strategic Advisory Board of CBF-partner Good Faith Media, and previously served on the board of directors of Baptists Today/Nurturing Faith from 2018-2020.

At FBC Huntsville, McDaniel serves on the Leadership Council and as chair of the Missions Committee. She also provides leadership to numerous other church committees and teams as well as serving as a Bible study leader. Other previous local church roles include those of deacon, Adult Sunday school director, Vacation Bible School leader/teacher, hospital visitation team, hospitality chair, stewardship committee and music camp volunteer, to name a few. She has been a member of FBC Huntsville since 2004.

A graduate of Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas, where she earned a secondary teaching certificate, McDaniel and her husband, Michael, have three adult children: Cameron, Patrick and Mackenzie.

McDaniel emphasized that she is “honored and humbled” to be nominated to serve as Moderator-Elect.

“The Fellowship family has welcomed me in ways I could not have imagined,” McDaniel said. “I am honored and humbled to serve as Moderator-Elect of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. Within CBF, I have found a place to serve and learn, a place to call home. As a lay person, I have been encouraged and invited to work and worship alongside so many gifted and talented people who love God with their whole beings. Their witness in congregations, universities and workplaces are a reminder that our unique Baptist voice is needed in the world. I look forward to being an encourager as we face not only the challenges ahead, but also as we embrace the opportunities to be a voice of hope and love in our world.

“I am grateful for this opportunity and pray for God’s guidance in the year ahead. I ask for your prayers, too, as I lead and seek the Holy Spirit’s direction in the next year. May the work we do bring joy and glory to our faithful God.”

CBF Executive Coordinator Paul Baxley praised the Nominating Committee’s selection of McDaniel.

“Debbie McDaniel has already offered important leadership in our Fellowship,” Baxley said. “She is a committed leader at First Baptist Huntsville and has earned respect from fellow leaders in her congregation, in Alabama CBF and in our larger CBF family. We will benefit richly from her gifts, convictions and experiences. I look forward to this opportunity to serve Christ with her.”

Emily Holladay, chair of the CBF Nominating Committee and pastor of Village Baptist Church in Bowie, Md., also expressed her excitement for McDaniel’s candidacy.

“One of the greatest delights of my year as chair of the Nominating Committee was to nominate the Moderator-Elect,” Holladay said. “During our conversations, we lifted up many names from within the Fellowship who could lead us with vibrancy and dedication as we enter into a period of implementing the work of the Toward Bold Faithfulness process. Debbie McDaniel’s name quickly rose to the top as we sought a high-capacity leader who thinks broadly and deeply, and who will provide a good complement to both outgoing CBF Moderator Carol McEntyre and incoming CBF Moderator Patricia Wilson. Debbie’s charisma and collaborative spirit will serve the Fellowship well as we move into a bright future together.”

Holladay also noted that the selection of McDaniel makes history too.

“I am also excited to note that this is the first time in CBF’s history that we will have three women serving in moderator roles—Past Moderator, Moderator and Moderator-Elect. I am proud that we could make this happen with three leaders who bring such giftedness, competence and passion to their roles. I feel confident that our Fellowship is in good hands.”

The CBF Nominating Committee will present McDaniel for approval from the General Assembly, August 26-27, along with additional nominees to serve on the Fellowship’s Governing Board, Missions Council and Ministries Council.

“The breadth and depth of leadership within our Fellowship extends well beyond the number of slots available to fill each year,” Holladay said. “Our focus this year was on continuing to increase the diversity of representation across the boards, and I think we did that well with room for improvement in future years. Working with this particular group of leaders on the Nominating Committee was an honor and joy. I am grateful for the contributions each of them made to our team.”

Additionally, the Governing Board will bring forward nominees to serve on the Nominating Committee, Council on Endorsement as well as the boards of CBF Church Benefits and the CBF Foundation.

At the conclusion of the 2021 General Assembly, current CBF Moderator-Elect Patricia Wilson will assume the role of Moderator, the Fellowship’s highest-ranking office.

Nominees to be presented for approval at the August 26-27 General Assembly are listed below.

Nominating Committee Report


  • Moderator-ElectDebbie McDaniel, Laity, First Baptist Church, Huntsville, Ala.
  • Nominating Committee Chair-Elect Amy Cook, Graphic Designer; Laity, Second Baptist Church, Memphis, Tenn.

Governing Board

  • Marnie Fisher-Ingram, Associate Pastor for Youth and Their Families, River Road Church, Baptist, Richmond, Va.
  • Timothy Peoples, Senior Minister, Emerywood Baptist Church, High Point, N.C.
  • Katherine Smith, Executive Director, Baptist Creation Care Initiative, Berkeley Springs, W.Va.; Laity, First Baptist Church, Winchester, Va.
  • Kristian Smith, Pastor, The Faith Community, Atlanta, Ga.

Ministries Council

  • Josh Beeler, Associate Pastor for Youth and College, Central Baptist Church of Fountain City, Knoxville, Tenn. (two-year term)
  • Troy Burden, Executive Director, Highland Community Ministries, Louisville, Ky.; Laity, Highland Baptist Church, Louisville, Ky.
  • Eric Fulcher, Minister of Community and Church of the Nations, University Baptist Church, Baton Rouge, La.
  • Jamilla Harper, Chief Operations Officer, Metanoia, North Charleston, S.C.; Laity, New Ashley Baptist Church, Summerville, S.C.
  • Joshua James, Pastor, The Restoration Project, Salisbury, Md.
  • Mark McClintock, Pastor, Speedway Baptist Church, Speedway, Ind.
  • Wayne Weathers, Pastor, Vision of Hope Baptist Church, Jenkintown, Pa.

Missions Council

  • Anyra Cano, Coordinator of Texas Baptist Women in Ministry; Youth Minister, Iglesia Bautista Victoria en Cristo, Fort Worth, Texas
  • Hannah Coe, Senior Pastor, Calvary Baptist Church, Waco, Texas.
  • Scott Day, Missions Minister, First Baptist Church, Huntsville, Ala. (two-year term)
  • Chiquikta Fountain, Executive Director, Delta Hands for Hope, Cleveland, Miss.; Laity, New Life Church, Cleveland, Miss.
  • John Harris, Lead Pastor, Mount Paran Baptist Church, Philadelphia, Pa.

Governing Board Recommendations

Nominating Committee

  • Jill Awuni, Assistant Professor of Religion and Director of International Students, Chowan University, Murfreesboro, N.C.; Laity, Murfreesboro Baptist Church, Murfreesboro, N.C.
  • Jason Edwards, Senior Pastor, Second Baptist Church, Liberty, Mo.
  • Randolph Parks, Chaplain/Pastoral Care Manager, Atlantic Health, Sparta, N.J.; Metro Baptist Church, New York, N.Y.
  • Isa Torres, Pastoral Resident and Pastor of Cliff Temple en Español, Cliff Temple Baptist Church, Dallas, Texas
  • Patty Villarreal, Co-founder of Christian Latina Leadership Institute; Laity, Woodland Baptist Church, San Antonio, Ala.


  • John Scott, Attorney, Starnes Davis Florie, LLP, Birmingham, Ala.; Laity, Mountain Brook Baptist Church, Birmingham, Ala.

CBF Church Benefits

  • Chris Adcox, Certified Public Accountant and Senior Director, Alvarez & Marsal Management Consulting, Dallas Texas; Laity, Wilshire Baptist Church, Dallas, Texas
  • Beth Parker, Certified Financial Planner, JWParker Financial Services, LLC; Minister of Music, Middlesboro, Ky.
  • Mark Williams, Certified Public Accountant and Partner, Nina and Pinta USA, LLC; Laity, First Baptist Church on Fifth, Winston-Salem, N.C.

CBF Foundation

  • Monica Garcia, Laity, First Baptist Church, Newport News, Va.
  • Anne Smith, Laity, Central Baptist Church, Newnan, Ga.

Council on Endorsement

  • Leah Boling, Chaplain, Colonel, Director of the Air National Guard Chaplain Corps, Joint Base Andrews, Md.
  • Cassandra Wilson, Chaplain, Director of Pastoral Care, Mt. Carmel Health System, Columbus, Ohio

All nominations are for a three-year term unless otherwise noted.


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.

2 thoughts on “Alabama lay leader Debbie McDaniel to become CBF Moderator-Elect at 2021 General Assembly

  1. Pingback: “Do not lose heart,” Baxley tells Cooperative Baptists during Friday plenary | CBFblog

  2. Pingback: Up Close with Debbie McDaniel: Thursday she will become CBF’s new Moderator | CBFblog

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