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Editor William Neal retires from Georgia’s Christian Index

ATLANTA (BP)–William T. Neal III, editor at The Christian Index since October 1993, has taken early retirement effective Jan. 31. On Jan. 25, in their regularly scheduled meeting, The Christian Index board of directors voted unanimously to accept Neal’s request for early retirement.

“Georgia Baptists greatly appreciate the ministry of Bill Neal during his 28 years of service with the Georgia Baptist Convention. We wish him and Judy the best in their retirement years,” said GBC Executive Director J. Robert White.

Neal, a history buff, usually spiced The Index with stories written from a historical perspective. His most notable achievement was overseeing the extensive renovation of Pinebloom, the original home of “The Baptist Hour” in downtown Atlanta. The Index relocated to the historic Druid Hills structure in January 2000 from the Baptist Center of the state convention.

Neal began his 28-year stint with the state convention in 1974 when he began his ministry as campus minister at Columbus College. He served as assistant to the director of the GBC education division from 1984-86, as associate editor of The Index from 1987-91, and as director of the GBC department of student work from 1991-93.

He succeeded R. Albert Mohler Jr., who left The Index to become the youngest president in the history of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kentucky.

Neal is a graduate of Columbus College, in his hometown, and Southern Seminary, where he earned both a master’s degree and a doctor of ministry degree. He and his wife, Judy, are members of Smoke Rise Baptist Church in Stone Mountain.

Along with Neal’s retirement, other personnel changes were made. Those no longer working for The Index are:

— Greg Brett of Cleveland, who joined the staff as managing editor in March 2000. He came to the paper from Truett-McConnell College where he had served for seven years as vice president for institutional development.

— Melea Goode of Gainesville, who served as multi-media coordinator and produced the paper’s hospitality pages and oversaw the website. She joined the staff in February 2001 and previously served as alumni director at Truett-McConnell.

— Laura Fowler Boltin of Tucker, who was administrative assistant to the editor. She joined The Index staff in October.

Staff members not affected by the personnel changes include associate Editor Joe Westbury of Lilburn, graphic design editor Kelly Durham of Loganville, circulation manager Beverly Tye of Snellville and business manager Donna Ward of Stockbridge.

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  • Joe Westbury