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Amy Whitfield named EC’s associate communications VP

NASHVILLE (BP) — Amy Whitfield has been named as associate vice president for convention communications of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee.

“I am so pleased to have Amy Whitfield joining our team at the SBC Executive Committee,” said Ronnie Floyd, EC president and CEO.

“She brings with her a wealth of knowledge, experience and integrity as well as a new perspective which will serve all Southern Baptists well. She is highly respected among those who know her,” Floyd said Sept. 30.

Floyd said he also is grateful “to have her representing and advising me and the SBC Executive Committee staff as we develop, engage and partner with ministries for women.”

Whitfield, who will begin her work with the Executive Committee on Oct. 16, has served as director of marketing and communications at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C., since 2014. She also is the co-host of the “SBC This Week” podcast, which she and Jonathan Howe, now the EC’s vice president for communications, began in 2015, having recorded 235 episodes. Her “This Week in SBC History” is a regular podcast feature.

Whitfield is the coauthor of the 2018 book “SBC FAQs: A Ready Reference” with Keith Harper, senior professor of Baptist studies at Southeastern, and has been an assistant parliamentarian at the SBC’s annual meetings since 2016.

In a broad range of duties as associate vice president for convention communications, Whitfield will be editor of SBC LIFE (www.sbclife.net), the journal of the Southern Baptist Convention; lead in utilizing media technologies to advance the messaging, mission, vision and ministries of the SBC and the EC; and promote participation in the SBC annual meeting and other events.

Howe noted, “There is no one better to help us tell the Southern Baptist story than Amy Whitfield. Amy will play an essential role in improving how we communicate with Southern Baptists as well as those outside our fellowship of churches.

“And while I’m thrilled to have her as part of the communications team, I am also excited for her to represent the SBC Executive Committee to other women and women’s ministries in the SBC,” Howe told Baptist Press.

Whitfield, as the EC’s women’s liaison, will have a lead role in developing strategies for recruiting, utilizing and developing women at multiple levels of Southern Baptist life and advising the EC leadership on issues related to the encouragement and involvement of women in the SBC.

Kathy Litton, director of spouse development for the North American Mission Board and SBC registration secretary, said in comments to Baptist Press, “The addition of Amy Whitfield to the Executive Committee staff marks an important moment for Southern Baptists. Amy brings a broad range of denominational experience and a strong leadership skill set. Her leadership regarding the SBC communication footprint will be invaluable.

“Her hire sends a strong signal that women’s contributions are not just welcomed but are indispensable in our mission of the Gospel,” Litton noted. “This step encourages women that they are respected, valued and can increasingly be included in roles, responsibilities and leadership in our denomination. Amy’s presence and role will be a huge platform to help connect and develop female leaders across our denomination.”

Ed Stetzer, executive director of Wheaton College’s Billy Graham Center for Evangelism and former executive director of LifeWay Research, told BP, “I’m thrilled that Amy is going to represent Southern Baptists in this new role. She’s served three SBC entities, all with great distinction. She was exceedingly valuable in our communications efforts at LifeWay, then at Southeastern. She will serve all of us across the SBC well.”

Whitfield will be based in Wake Forest, where her husband Keith is Southeastern Seminary’s acting provost, vice president for academic administration, dean of graduate studies and associate professor of theology.

A native of Nashville, Tenn., she holds a master of arts degree in Christian studies from Southeastern and an undergraduate degree from Converse College in Spartanburg, S.C.

Whitfield, in comments to Baptist Press, said, “Wherever I have served I have always considered how each entity fits into our greater cooperative relationship. The role of the Executive Committee staff in our Southern Baptist family is a vital trust, particularly as we tell the big picture story of the convention while supporting the work of its entities and ministries.

“I take seriously the importance of integrity and clear messaging as we encourage cooperation and engagement at every level,” Whitfield said, “and my prayer is to serve that purpose well.”

Danny Akin, Southeastern’s president, said Whitfield has been “one of God’s great gifts to Southeastern Seminary and now she will be a great gift to the Southern Baptist family. I have known Amy for more than 20 years. She has worked by my side at two different institutions. She excelled in both places.

“She is one of the most talented people I know,” Akin said. “She is omnicompetent and her skills are a perfect match for this new assignment. … Amy has my prayers and full support. She also will have the prayers and full support of the Southeastern family.”

In addition to her communications role at Southeastern, Whitfield has taught a course as an adjunct instructor on the Southern Baptist Convention since 2016 and, in the seminary’s Biblical Women’s Institute, a course on church life. She served as research assistant to the president and assistant to the president’s wife from 2012-2014.

Prior to Southeastern, Whitfield was executive assistant to the vice president of LifeWay Insights at LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention in Nashville and administrative assistant to the senior vice president for academic administration at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky.

She lived in Waverly, Va., from 2005-2010 when her husband was pastor of Waverly Baptist Church.

In SBC life, Whitfield is a steering committee member of the SBC Women’s Leadership Network, which launched earlier this year, and program chair-elect for the Baptist Communicators Association. She and Howe have moderated a number of panel discussions on the Cooperative Program stage during SBC annual meetings on such topics as the future of the SBC and on the issue of sexual abuse, and she was a member of a panel discussion on women in leadership and discipleship during the SBC Women’s Session preceding the 2019 SBC annual meeting in Birmingham, Ala.

She also is a member of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina’s Historical Committee; the Evangelical Theological Society; National Association of Parliamentarians; and American Institute of Parliamentarians.

The Whitfields have two children, Mary and Drew, and are members of Faith Baptist Church in Youngsville, N.C.