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29 directors named as leaders in LifeWay Church Resources Division

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–In the continuing process of organizing the Church Resources Division of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention to better meet the needs of churches, 29 directors were announced March 15.

Earlier, four members of the division leadership staff and six of the division leadership team were named. The organization will be implemented Oct. 1.

“We are continuing to shape our division to meet the needs of churches and to expand the kingdom,” Gene Mims, division president, said. “Much prayer has gone into this selection process.”

The organization encompasses four areas: Solutions; Church Relations; Knowledge and Channel Management; and Performance.


In the Solutions area directed by John Kramp — which includes network relations, publishing and church ministry leadership — 14 directors were named. This area also will provide resources for multicultural and language church needs.

In network relations led by Bill Taylor, the managing director will be Bill Henry, currently director of national collegiate ministry. A 17-year LifeWay employee, Henry earlier served 13 years as director of the Tennessee Baptist Convention’s student department. John Gardner, manager of the division’s coordination section and a 27-year employee, will serve as the administrative director of network relations.

Publishing, led by Louis Hanks, includes six areas of work. This group will publish division resources for all age groups and include Sunday school, discipleship, music, church leadership and other church ministries.

Gary Hauk, acting director of the discipleship and family group, will direct adult ministry publishing. A 23-year employee, Hauk has held numerous positions, including acting director and associate director of the discipleship and family group and director of the discipleship and family magazines department.

Jimmy Hester, acting associate director of the discipleship and family group, will direct student ministry publishing. A 16-year employee and former design editor, Hester is one of the creators of the True Love Waits sexual abstinence campaign.

Children’s ministry publishing, including products for preschoolers and children, will be directed by Tommy Sanders, who currently directs the preschool Sunday school ministry department. Sanders joined LifeWay in 1996.

Jim Gibson, associate director of the music ministries department, will direct music publishing and recording. Before joining LifeWay in 1997, he was an independent music consultant and held executive positions with several music publishers.

Church leadership publishing will be directed by Henry Webb, who now leads the pastor-staff leadership department. A 23-year employee, Webb earlier directed the discipleship and family leadership department.

Richard Barnes, director of the youth Sunday school ministry department, will direct publishing development. In 15 years with LifeWay, Barnes has edited youth Sunday school materials and managed the youth biblical studies development section.

Six directors were named to lead the work in church ministry leadership directed by Jay Johnston. This group includes church ministries such as Sunday school, discipleship, worship and music, church recreation, media library, family ministry, men’s and women’s ministry, church secretaries, stewardship, deacons and national collegiate ministry.

Ministry team leadership will be directed by John Garner, director of the church recreation program. A 10-year LifeWay employee, Garner earlier was field service projects coordinator in the pastor-staff leadership department.

Paul Turner, manager of the youth discipleship and family section, will direct discipleship and equipping. Turner joined LifeWay in 1992, assuming his present position in March 2000.

Open groups and Sunday school will be directed by Alan Raughton, manager of the adult ministry services section. A four-year employee, he previously served as minister of education at Celebration Baptist Church, Tallahassee, Fla.

Mark Blankenship, director of the music ministries department, will direct worship ministry and LifeWay music. A 26-year employee, Blankenship also is a composer, arranger, orchestrator, singer and conductor.

FAITH/outreach ministry will be led by Shelby Smith, who joined LifeWay in October 2000 as a Sunday school/FAITH consultant. Previously, he was vice president for North America Evangelism Explosion International, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Pastoral ministry will be led by Michael Priest, a Sunday school/FAITH consultant who joined LifeWay in 1999 after serving as pastor and student minister of churches in Mississippi.


Thirteen directors were named in the Church Relations area led by Mike Miller that includes the central and regional operations.

In central operations directed by Gary Aylor, five directors were named including Joe Palmer as director of student/children enrichment events. Palmer, a 20-year employee, currently directs the Centrifuge department.

Adult enrichment events will be directed by Danny Jones, who presently heads the leadership development team in the music ministries department. A nine-year employee, he earlier served as minister of music in several Mississippi churches.

Greg Skipper, events team leader in the music ministries department, will direct music sales. In 23 years at LifeWay, Skipper has held numerous positions related to music marketing and sales.

Two leaders will continue in similar roles — Davis Byrd as director of church architecture and Glen Schultz, director of Christian schools.

In regional operations, six persons were named to serve as regional directors to identify and meet the needs of churches. Three other director positions will be filled at a later date. Directors include:

— Bill Banks, manager of the telephone sales section and a 27-year employee who has held his present position since 1993.

— Barry Campbell, manager of the church staff section in the pastor-staff leadership department, served as pastor of churches for 20 years before joining LifeWay in 1993.

— Ralph Hodge, design editor in the pastor-staff leadership department who earlier served as pastor of three churches.

— Mark Marshall, manager of the pastor section in the pastor-staff leadership department, who, before joining LifeWay in 1997, served as a pastor and church staff minister.

— Barry Sneed, church specialist of the division’s church relationships prototype team and a 10-year employee with earlier church staff experience.

— David Trammel, manager of the field sales section and a 13-year employee who earlier served as minister of education in three churches.

Kathy Chapman Sharp, coordinator of the prototype team, will direct regional operations support. She joined LifeWay in 1997 and earlier served as an international missionary and worked in women’s enrichment ministries.

The director of telephone sales will be Mark Dewbre, who currently is the trainer in the sales department.


In the Knowledge and Channel Management area led by Steve Blount, two directors will continue in similar roles. Ben Harbin will direct advertising and promotion and Janice Bell will lead customer service.

Additional leaders are expected to be named in mid-May, with all staffing to be completed by mid-June.


Two directors previously had been named; no additional directors were named March 15.
(BP) graphic posted in the BP Photo Library at https://www.bpnews.net. Graphic title: ORGANIZATION CHART.

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  • Linda Lawson