February 28, 2023
By Jeff Huett
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DECATUR, Ga – A Cooperative Baptist with wide-ranging experience working with congregational resourcing, program administration and local church ministry has been named to lead the CBF’s Clergy Support Ecosystem.
Kelly Rhodes Adams will join the CBF staff in March. She brings a love for the church and deep passion for seeing its clergy thrive in ministry at each stage of their vocational career.
Adams has served as the associate director of the Center for Congregational Resources at Samford University in Birmingham, Ala., where she worked with congregations and clergy through a Lilly Endowment, Inc., -sponsored “Called to Lives of Meaning and Purpose Initiative” (CLPMI). She is currently a resource strategist and learning module creator for Samford’s “Life is Calling” initiative and consults on their “Churches Calibrating to Thrive” grant, which is also funded by the Lilly Endowment, Inc. In addition, she has been working closely with the CLMPI coordination team on resource development related to communal discernment.
In her role, Adams will lead the development of an ecosystem to support clergy that includes programming for ministers in their first call out of seminary called CBF Fellows, Peer Learning Group opportunities for ministers to support and learn from each other, as well as the Thriving in Ministry grant initiative through the Lilly Endowment, Inc.
Adams will work to connect ministers and provide a continuum of care opportunities, which is vital to helping them build long lasting, robust and fulfilling ministries by which they serve the local church and God’s Kingdom.
She said she feels fortunateto join a dynamic and gifted team offering quality resources across the Fellowship in what continues to be a precarious time for communities of faith.
“An enduring support network of CBF staff, partner schools, churches, and pastors have educated, mentored, prayed for, and encouraged me since I initially sensed a call to ministry in high school and for that, I am grateful,” Adams said. “Having spent the last five years working alongside clergy and churches from various faith traditions to explore the intersection of Christian calling with a life of meaning and purpose, I am excited to see how elements of that work will inform this new role in supporting CBF pastors and congregations.”
Brian Foreman, CBF’s Coordinator of Congregational Ministries, says this about Adams:
“Our team was blessed by the challenge of many excellent candidates for this new role in CBF life,” Foreman said. “Kelly set herself a part based on her knowledge of a diversity of congregational and clergy contexts, a deep passion for the health and vitality of the church and its leaders, and her experience with programs like the ones that comprise the ecosystem. Peer Learning Groups, Thriving in Ministry cohorts, and the Fellows are critical programs to the flourishing of many of our clergy. Kelly will be an excellent steward of those programs and partner in ministry to clergy across the Fellowship.”
Adams earned a Master of Divinity from Campbell University Divinity School with a concentration in Christian Education.
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.