October 12, 2021
By Jeff Huett
DECATUR, Ga. — The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship has named the coordinator of a CBF state organization also serving as CBF’s Abuse Prevention and Response Advocate to a new staff position to connect gifted ministers and passionate congregations across the Fellowship.
Jay Kieve will remain CBF’s point person for connecting churches to resources for the prevention of clergy sexual abuse and clergy sexual misconduct and will now also serve as the new director of ministerial transitions. Kieve will transition from his role as the coordinator of CBF of South Carolina, a position he has held since March 2013.
Over the past year, intentional collaboration between CBF state and regional organizations and CBF Global has resulted in an aligned strategy that will foster a higher level of consistency in the ways CBF serves congregations and candidates across the Fellowship. A key component of that strategy was the creation of the new staff position.
The search was conducted by a team consisting of leaders of CBF state and regional organizations and CBF Global staff. The state leaders were Bob Fox, the coordinator of CBF Kentucky and the current convener of the state and regional organizations’ leadership group; Rick Bennett, coordinator of CBF Tennessee and the leadership group’s past convener, as well as Ray Higgins, coordinator of CBF of Arkansas. CBF Global staff were Paul Baxley, executive coordinator; Shauw Chin Capps, CBF’s chief development officer and president of the CBF Foundation; Adam Granger, strategic engagement officer; and Grace Martino-Suprice, outreach and growth specialist.
In his ministerial transitions role, Kieve will be responsible for convening and coordinating the new aligned approach with states and regions, which involves developing and expanding a shared set of resources to be used with search committees and candidates across the Fellowship, working closely with other CBF state and regional coordinators, CBF Global staff and partners who have connections to this work, and coordinating a process to identify a new platform to support congregations and candidates in times of transition.
Kieve said his positive experiences with CBF’s ministerial transitions process, formerly called Reference and Referral, and his love of the CBF congregations led him to this work.
“The CBF reference and referral process blessed me in two pastoral moves to very good churches,” Kieve said. “I hope that, as we update and revise the ministerial transitions support and resources, I can help other ministers find churches that match them well for fruitful ministry.
“During my service to CBFSC I came to love deeply the churches of CBF and appreciate their diversity and gifts for ministry. Supporting many CBFSC churches in times of transition showed me that the work of transition can be stressful and is always important in the life of a church. I would like nothing more than to equip churches for their searches and support their thriving.”
Fox said he is pleased Kieve has chosen to serve CBF Global is this way.
“There is no one better positioned to make an immediate impact in this work,” Fox said. “Jay’s relationships with churches, candidates, leaders of states and regions and other partners will enable him to excel at balancing the challenges of this work in the complicated environment of churches and individuals that partner together. His work with sexual abuse prevention will inform his new position in ways that will help churches make wise choices. As CBF reimagines what ministerial transitions can look like, Jay’s creative spiritual discernment will serve us well.”
Baxley said Kieve is uniquely suited for this role.
“Jay has already gained significant experience supporting congregations and ministers in seasons of transition,” Baxley said. “Because of his work as coordinator for CBF South Carolina, he understands the essential role CBF state and regional leaders must play in this critical ministry and is positioned to convene a higher level of collaboration for the benefit of our congregations and our ministers.
“He has also cultivated relationships with partner ministries most actively engaged in serving churches seeking ministers,” Baxley continued. “I am eager to welcome Jay to this new role in CBF and join him and colleagues across our Fellowship as we seek the best and most faithful ways of helping ministers and congregations discern God’s call.”
Capps said Kieve has the right mix of experience to lead this work for the Fellowship and sees synergy in his dual roles.
“As the Coordinator of CBF South Carolina, Jay has been walking alongside and providing support for churches who are going through ministerial transitions for a long time,” Capps said. “He knows CBF partner churches and understands the complexity of the discernment process in calling a minister. I believe there is real synergy between Jay’s current role as CBF’s clergy sexual abuse prevention specialist and the director of ministerial transitions role that has the potential to positively impact the culture of our churches.”
Martino-Suprice praised Kieve’s innovative spirit.
“Jay’s experience with congregations and ministers speaks for itself, but his pastoral heart and willingness for innovation is what set him apart and makes him the ideal person for this position at CBF,” Martino-Suprice said. “As the Fellowship grows and transforms more into what the Lord is calling us to, we need to reimagine ways to engage congregations and ministers that are in transition, especially in such a unique time in the world where ministry is evolving by the day. I am excited and confident that Jay can be that guiding hand to lead us, churches, and ministers, new and old, toward that future.”
Kieve holds a Doctor of Ministry degree from the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond and Master of Theology and Master of Divinity degrees from Duke University Divinity School. His undergraduate degree is from Mercer University.
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.