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Colo. Baptists seek new executive director

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (BP) — The Colorado Baptist General Convention (CBGC) is receiving applications for a new executive director to replace Mark Edlund, retiring in July after 15 years of service.

The executive director would serve a unified and healthy convention of 391 churches and church plants in one of the fastest growing states in the nation, said CBGC President Mike Routt, citing Edlund’s tenure.

“Dr. Mark Edlund has provided excellent spiritual guidance and counsel during his tenure,” Routt said. “When he leaves his office in July, Mark departs with a difference-making legacy of servant leadership.”

The new leader would continue Edlund’s focus on planting new churches and helping revitalize existing congregations, Routt said, in efforts to reach the state that has no Southern Baptist churches in 115 of its 200 zip codes.

Colorado Baptists have especially focused on church planting along the state’s front range, extending from Fort Collins to Pueblo and housing 80 percent of the state’s 4.24 million people. Among new residents, 80 percent are drawn to the region, the CGBC said.

The new leader should be an experienced and active leader in Southern Baptist life with at least five years of administrative experience, a history of sound financial management, and knowledge of Southern Baptist Convention polity and structure. A master’s degree (or equivalent) from an accredited seminary is required.

The CGBC is located in a suburb of Denver, which North American Mission Board area missionary Dave Howeth describes as the fastest growing city in the nation. More than 1,200 moved to the metropolitan area every month from 2010-2015, said Howeth, noting a total of 83,000 people.

Denver is a top draw for millennials, with 18,000 living downtown and an 18 percent growth rate of millennials projected within the next five years, the CGBC said. Among other statistics distinguishing the area, 175 different languages are spoken, more than a million people live in multi-housing sites, and the Denver public school district is the fastest growing urban district in the nation, having grown 14 percent of the past five years.

Routt has appointed Calvin Wittman, pastor of Applewood Baptist Church in Wheat Ridge, as chair of the executive director search team. Other members are Scott Bailey, lead pastor of Majestic Baptist Church, Pueblo West; Tree Cooper, pastor of Alpine Chapel in Telluride and a former CBGC president; Tyann DeClue, a member of Calvary Church, Englewood; Marcus Rawls, executive director of the Ponderosa Retreat and Conference Center, Larkspur; Michael Salazar, youth pastor at Summit Baptist Church in Wiggins; and James Vaughn, a North American Mission Board church planting catalyst in southwest Colorado.

Wittman will receive applications and recommendations for the position at 11200 W. 32nd Ave., Wheat Ridge, CO, 80033, or at [email protected]