The challenges brought on by the recent pandemic have taught us that change is inevitable and often necessary to achieve desired goals. In an effort to best meet the changing needs of ABSC churches and ABSC organization, the Executive Team and the Church Planting Team of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention (ABSC) have recently undergone some restructuring.
Dr. Sonny Tucker’s title and role as Executive Director will remain unchanged. Marcus Brown’s title will change from Executive Convention Administrator to Director of Convention Administration. He will assist Dr. Tucker in leading the convention staff and giving direction to the daily operation of the convention ministries. David Bond’s title will change from Executive Business Administrator to Director of Convention Business. He is responsible for overseeing the work of the Business Team, including accounting, as well as oversight of Camp Paron.
Craig Jenkins, former pastor of Beech Street Baptist Church in Texarkana has joined the Executive Team in the newly created role of Director of Convention Advancement and News. Jenkins’ role will include advancing the impact of Arkansas Baptists as he advocates for cooperative missions through the Cooperative Program as well as Dixie Jackson Arkansas Missions. He will serve Arkansas Baptist churches in a variety of ways, including leading some Executive Team ministries.
Jenkins’ role will also involve executive leadership of the Arkansas Baptist News (ABN). He will be responsible for the day-to-day operation of the ABN website, bi-weekly eMagazine, promotion of the ABN and more as he works with the ABN staff to tell the stories of all that God is doing around the state in and through the churches.
Nick Burt is transitioning into the role of Director of Communications. Burt’s work will operate separately from the ABN, even though the two teams will collaborate in many cases. The Communications Team will focus primarily on telling the stories of the ministry and work of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention. Burt’s team will also provide equipping resources on a wide variety of topics to assist Arkansas Baptist churches.
In addition to the changes to the Executive Team, some transition has also taken place among the team leaders. Tim Wicker joined the ABSC staff as a member of the Missions Team in 2009. In 2013 he transitioned to the role of Team Leader for the Church Planting Team. During his time in this role, Wicker worked with team members to assist Arkansas Baptist churches in identifying potential planters and potential locations. He also helped them assess and train the planters that were being sent out by the local churches.
Wicker has recently begun the process of transitioning to Northwest Arkansas, where he will serve as the Northwest Arkansas Lead Strategist for Church Planting and Missions. Due to the rapid growth in this area of the state and with some staff members already living in the area, the ABSC has opened a remote office located on the campus of Elmdale Baptist Church in Springdale. While he will be available to assist churches across the state, Wicker will focus primarily on working with churches in the northwest to help plant churches and assist in the area of missions.
As Wicker transitions to his new role, the position of Church Planting Team leader will be filled by Vince Blubaugh. Blubaugh comes to the ABSC from the Southern Baptist Convention of Virginia where he served in the northern part of the state as a church planting strategist. Although he and his family are in the process of transitioning from Virginia to Central Arkansas, Blubaugh has already begun his ministry and is available to assist the churches in the area of church planting.
Be sure to watch for the July 29 edition of the eMagazine when the feature stories will highlight Craig, Vince and Tim as they share more of their stories and give more insight into their new roles at the ABSC.