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David Roach named BP chief correspondent

NASHVILLE (BP) — David Roach, a regular contributor to Baptist Press and numerous other publications, has been named BP’s chief national correspondent. He will fill a position vacated by Erin Roach, his wife, who served 12 years with the SBC news service as staff writer and, more recently, assistant editor.

Roach, who has contributed news and feature articles to Baptist Press for 11 years, was among the finalists in a national search to fill a position now held by Shawn Hendricks as Baptist Press’ managing editor. He will join the BP staff in Nashville on April 1.

Baptist Press (bpressstage.wpengine.com and @baptistpress) is the news service of the Southern Baptist Convention. It is a ministry assignment of the SBC Executive Committee.

In addition to Baptist Press, Roach has been an editorial associate for SBC LIFE, journal of the Executive Committee, since 2012 and was a newswriter for Southern Seminary from 2003-09. He also has written for the Kentucky Baptist Convention; the Southern Baptist TEXAN; Florida Baptist Witness; The Alabama Baptist; LifeWay Christian Resources; Kairos Journal, an online resource for pastors; and BibleMesh, a Bible-teaching website.

“We are delighted David is joining the Baptist Press team,” said Roger S. Oldham, vice president for convention communications and relations for the SBC Executive Committee. “When Erin signaled her intent to be a stay-at-home mother following the birth of their second child, it was natural that we should look at David.

“The Roaches are both very gifted journalists. Erin’s decision to resign from full-time employment to devote her time and energy to raising their two daughters provided an opportunity for us to bring David on board,” Oldham said.

Erin Roach voiced gratitude in her letter of resignation to have had a role “to serve the Kingdom by writing and editing stories about God’s work among Southern Baptists. Though I will miss the opportunity to contribute to Baptist Press on a daily basis, I know my heart is set on caring for my daughters during these crucial years.”

Her resignation is effective March 31.

“Both the quality of her work and the volume of her productivity deserve highest praise,” Oldham said. “She has written or contributed to thousands of news articles during her time with Baptist Press and has done so with excellence.”

Searches for “Erin Curry,” her maiden name, and “Erin Roach” yield more than 2,000 stories with her byline or to which she has contributed. She has won five first-place awards from the Baptist Communicators Association: 2013 in newswriting as part of Baptist Press’ coverage of Hurricane Sandy; 2009 in opinion/editorial writing; two in 2008 in feature writing; and 2007 in feature writing.

In addition to his freelance writing, David Roach was bivocational pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Shelbyville, Ky., from 2005-12, and part-time minister of music at Parkland Hills Baptist Church in Fisherville, Ky., from 2003-05.

A native of Albuquerque, N.M., Roach earned a Ph.D. in church history from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville in 2009. His dissertation was titled “The Southern Baptist Convention and Civil Rights, 1954-1995.” He also holds a master of divinity degree from Southern Seminary and an undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, where he was president of the campus’ Baptist Collegiate Ministry, 2001-02.

Roach served as an intern with the Executive Committee office of convention relations during his undergraduate studies; assisted the SBC Resolutions Committee as a proofreader, 1999-2013; was a Kentucky Baptist Convention Mission Board member, 2010-13; a KBC Committee on Nominations member, 2010-12; and the Shelby Baptist Association assistant moderator, 2011-12. He has served as an adjunct professor of systematic theology for Boyce College, the undergraduate arm of Southern Seminary, and an adjunct professor of New Testament survey and hermeneutics for Union University in Jackson, Tenn.

The Roaches have two young daughters, Caroline and Mallory.

Baptist Press’ other staff include:

— Art Toalston, editor since 1992 who previously worked seven years at the International Mission Board as a staff writer and 10 years in reporting and journalism education in Mississippi and Ohio. He holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and has studied at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, where he also worked in the news office. His undergraduate degree is from Bowling Green State University in Ohio.

— Shawn Hendricks, managing editor since October 2013, who served as managing editor of the Biblical Recorder, newsjournal of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, 2011-13, and staff writer at the International Mission Board, 2002-11, handling more than 20 overseas assignments. Hendricks also worked as a news and feature writer with the State Gazette daily newspaper in Dyersburg, Tenn., 1997-98; public relations staff writer at Hannibal-LaGrange University in Hannibal, Mo., 1998-99; and news and feature writer at the former Missouri Baptist newsjournal Word & Way, 1999-2002. He is a 1996 communication arts/journalism graduate from Union University in Jackson, Tenn., who completed internships with the Indiana Baptist, newsjournal of the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana, and The Jackson Sun (Tenn.) daily newspaper. Hendricks is the program co-chair for the Baptist Communicators Association’s 2014 annual meeting at the LifeWay Conference Center in Ridgecrest, N.C., and has won five first-place BCA writing awards.

— Diana Chandler, general assignment writer/editor since March 2012, who worked for the Consulate-General of Japan in New Orleans for 15 years (1992-2007) in various roles, including assistant to the deputy chief of mission, adviser for political affairs, cultural affairs representative and speechwriter. As a freelance journalist from 2008-12, she wrote for Baptist Press; the Baptist Message, newsjournal of the Louisiana Baptist Convention; and New Orleans City Business and other publications of the New Orleans Publishing Group. She also wrote a weekly “Spirit ‘n Spice” religion news column for The Times-Picayune newspaper in New Orleans from 2002-08. Chandler holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., and an undergraduate degree in journalism from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg. She and Toalston were part of the newswriting team that won a 2013 BCA first-place award for coverage of Hurricane Sandy.

— Laura Erlanson, BP’s operations coordinator since September 2003 who holds bachelor’s degrees in journalism and in business management from the University of South Florida. She also spends her weekends as part of the contemporary Christian music group No Other Name.
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