New CBF Executive Coordinator

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New CBF Executive Coordinator

Postby Dave Roberts » Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:30 am

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Re: New CBF Executive Coordinator

Postby Rvaughn » Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:07 am

Baptist News has this article by Bob Allen:
CBF elects Georgia pastor Paul Baxley as executive coordinator
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Re: New CBF Executive Coordinator

Postby William Thornton » Wed Jan 16, 2019 4:07 pm

His church FBC Athens was my childhood church back in the 50s when it and First UMC were thriving on all those WWII gen families with many children. Still solid with the professional and uga crowd. Has money. Made a clean break with SBC.

I attended one Sunday a few years ago, a search for nostalgia, and his sermon was the best I had heard in a long time.

He is a master of the lingo. Quote below:

Our committee lives each day in hopeful waiting for the emergence of a more faithful path forward, and we stand before you today not in fear, but rather in the hopeful conviction that together we will see that still more excellent way when the Holy Spirit reveals it to us,” Baxley said. “We dare to believe that way will be a witness in and of itself, and a path to a new season of thriving for our Fellowship.”

Through embracing the approach of Integrative Thinking, the committee seeks to faithfully hear and feel the Spirit moving among the priesthood of all believers, Baxley said.


If I were a CBFer I'd probably like the choice. Appealing to pastors and churches seems to be what is needed for survival...

...but my mod/lib friends can work all that out. Sandy and I are happy to opine.
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Re: New CBF Executive Coordinator

Postby Dave Roberts » Wed Jan 16, 2019 5:04 pm

I don't know Paul personally, but I have been with him at meetings. I like the fact that he is focused on the local church, not wider denomi-networks alone. He did graduate from college with a friend of mine.
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Re: New CBF Executive Coordinator

Postby KeithE » Fri Feb 15, 2019 12:20 pm

William,

Here is a subject you can possibly post on with some knowledge. Paul Baxter is from your area.

Was do you think of him and what changes in the CBF do you expect.
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Re: New CBF Executive Coordinator

Postby William Thornton » Fri Feb 15, 2019 3:00 pm

I attended his church once. Outstanding sermon that Sunday. I don't know much other that what I read in the CBF outlets. He has a way of talking gobbledygook that makes me shake my head but that may be what my CBF friends are accustomed to.
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Re: New CBF Executive Coordinator

Postby Sandy » Fri Feb 15, 2019 5:15 pm

Paul Baxley wrote:“Congregations are at the center of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, and CBF exists to bless and serve churches. I’m eager to see what kind of powerful collaborations can emerge between CBF pastors, lay leaders, leaders of our partner ministries and our state and regional coordinators. Imagine the power that could come from the best kind of convening and collaboration, where we see that CBF’s future is not held by whoever is the Executive Coordinator, but our life, work and witness together. My experience as a pastor in CBF congregations has taught me that when we open ourselves to serve and lead together, God does incredible work.”


Emphasis in that quote is mine. What happens overall in a Baptist organization like CBF is much more related to what is going on in its churches rather than who the leader is. Executive leadership does make a difference when it comes to making decisions that affect how the efficiency and effectiveness of the organization itself and this choice of a pastor who appears to have an understanding of what CBF was at the beginning and what it has become is probably a very good choice because he will be realistic in his assessments and plans. Paynter succeeded in stabilizing the finances by not filling vacant positions, slashing budget expenses and putting most of the money from larger individual contributions in contingency funds and savings instead of using it to balance budget shortfalls. I can imagine that raising the level of contributions might be high on the list of CBF's council and why they were attracted to a pastor with a reputation as a strong preacher.

It also appears that the slight left turn the fellowship took by selecting Paynter and then moving forward with the Illumination Project will continue, since Baxley was on the committee which drafted it. I think that will help solidify CBF's identity. The last three coordinators have all been Texans. The bulk of CBF's participating churches are clustered along the east coast from Virginia down to Georgia and in Texas, with a small scattering of churches in between, but not very many. There are differences that separate them and which are more likely to fracture than to unify. It appears that its staffing and leadership choices are moving in a more liberal direction. That will bring some churches down off the fence and back to full support of the SBC. But it may pull some others a little closer to the core.
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Re: New CBF Executive Coordinator

Postby KeithE » Thu May 16, 2019 6:33 pm

Sandy wrote:
Paul Baxley wrote:“Congregations are at the center of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, and CBF exists to bless and serve churches. I’m eager to see what kind of powerful collaborations can emerge between CBF pastors, lay leaders, leaders of our partner ministries and our state and regional coordinators. Imagine the power that could come from the best kind of convening and collaboration, where we see that CBF’s future is not held by whoever is the Executive Coordinator, but our life, work and witness together. My experience as a pastor in CBF congregations has taught me that when we open ourselves to serve and lead together, God does incredible work.”


Emphasis in that quote is mine. What happens overall in a Baptist organization like CBF is much more related to what is going on in its churches rather than who the leader is. Executive leadership does make a difference when it comes to making decisions that affect how the efficiency and effectiveness of the organization itself and this choice of a pastor who appears to have an understanding of what CBF was at the beginning and what it has become is probably a very good choice because he will be realistic in his assessments and plans. Paynter succeeded in stabilizing the finances by not filling vacant positions, slashing budget expenses and putting most of the money from larger individual contributions in contingency funds and savings instead of using it to balance budget shortfalls. I can imagine that raising the level of contributions might be high on the list of CBF's council and why they were attracted to a pastor with a reputation as a strong preacher.


Went a breakfast get-together with Baxley this morning at FBC Huntsville. Had not been too involved with CBF the last several years.

Baxley talked for about 30 minutes before opening it up for questions/comments.

He emphasized his role as helping CBF churches minister better individually (literature, resources, seminary interns). I felt his emphasis was on improving CBF seminaries financial situations (much needed as witnessed by the ending of his alma mater BTSU Richmond) and on Baptist witness through doing a better job of joint missions. In the foreign mission area the CBF needed more funds because he hated to have those offering their lives not be paid adequately. My take is that will probably mean less CBF mission professionals (foreign or domestic) but paid a livable wage.

To my question about partnering within Baptist (e.g New Baptist Covenant) and non-Baptist entities, he said he was open to that. Afterwards I gave him my card and expressed interest in helping in those directions. Not at all sure what will happen. If I’m industrious enough I may have some suggestions I can hand him at the CBF Convention in Birmingham June 17-21 (all weekdays discouraging employed people).

To another question about diversity, he recognized that he was a white male and feels the need to balance that with more diversity on the staff.

Sandy wrote:It also appears that the slight left turn the fellowship took by selecting Paynter and then moving forward with the Illumination Project will continue, since Baxley was on the committee which drafted it. I think that will help solidify CBF's identity. The last three coordinators have all been Texans. The bulk of CBF's participating churches are clustered along the east coast from Virginia down to Georgia and in Texas, with a small scattering of churches in between, but not very many. There are differences that separate them and which are more likely to fracture than to unify. It appears that its staffing and leadership choices are moving in a more liberal direction. That will bring some churches down off the fence and back to full support of the SBC. But it may pull some others a little closer to the core.


Not sure about that Sandy. He made no strong statements about social justice, politics, LBGTQs, theology, or anything controversial as is appropriate for introductory meetings. Not a Cecil Sherman or James Dunn type. No rallying cries about traditional moderate causes; but he did agree with Deb McDaniel's (remember her on BL) comment of her appreciation that women-in-ministry is now a done deal in CBF circles. But he volunteered none of the rallying points like church autonomy, priesthood of believer, pastoral servanthood, realistic view of the bible, pacifism. He was speaking with Travis Collins (FBC-Huntsville pastor) at his side and mostly to a FBC-H crowd (which has moved rightward recently); so he might have just been careful.

It was good to see many people again like Deb, Joe and Francis Jones, Robbie White, Teri Byrd, Ed and Sharon Culpepper and a couple of surprise faces that I have worked with in engineering and a good many new young faces. About 25 in attedence.

My church was only represented by our Youth Minister who said he was assigned to come. I think that David Freeman (my pastor) is more interested in his favorite ministries (sermons, respite care, gardening, joint services with a local black Cumberland Presbyterian Church). He and Travis Colins grew up together near Anniston, AL and were (are) good friends.
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Re: New CBF Executive Coordinator

Postby Sandy » Fri May 17, 2019 1:22 pm

KeithE wrote: He made no strong statements about social justice, politics, LBGTQs, theology, or anything controversial as is appropriate for introductory meetings. Not a Cecil Sherman or James Dunn type. No rallying cries about traditional moderate causes; but he did agree with Deb McDaniel's (remember her on BL) comment of her appreciation that women-in-ministry is now a done deal in CBF circles. But he volunteered none of the rallying points like church autonomy, priesthood of believer, pastoral servanthood, realistic view of the bible, pacifism. He was speaking with Travis Collins (FBC-Huntsville pastor) at his side and mostly to a FBC-H crowd (which has moved rightward recently); so he might have just been careful.


Maybe that's just the experience of being pastor of a large, highly visible church in a mid-sized Georgia college town. Although his church was one of those that did sever ties completely with the SBC, churches like that aren't as "activist" in social justice issues, tend to be politically conservative and are hard-wired on appearances. It might be a while before he realizes he's in an atmosphere where he can "warm up" a little. Then again, there are quite a few pastors and church leaders in CBF that I call "typical moderate" Baptists. These are individuals who are fairly conservative in their own theology and politics, but don't draw boundaries of cooperation around their own preferences. What I hear from friends in Texas who are still involved in CBF is that money is as tight as it has ever been and maybe he's being careful not to offend anyone.
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