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Golden Gate trustees approve transitions

MILL VALLEY, Calif (BP)–Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary trustees approved transition actions for the presidency and three directors during their Oct. 14 meeting on the seminary’s Mill Valley, Calif., campus.

Trustees approved the hiring of a director for the Pacific Northwest campus, a director for the Arizona campus and a director for the David and Faith Kim School of Intercultural Studies.

President William O. Crews was elected to fill the transitional role of chancellor as the trustees begin a search for a new president. The longest-tenured of the six Southern Baptist Convention seminary presidents, Crews was elected to lead Golden Gate in 1986.

“I will continue to give leadership to the institution until a new president is elected and installed,” Crews told trustees. “I will then do all I can to see that any influence I might have is transferred to the person God has already chosen to be our new leader.”

Although officially vacating the office of the president and taking up the post of chancellor, Crews will maintain the duties of president and chief executive until a new leader is elected and in place, officials noted.

“I chose to start this process based solely on what I believe to be God’s will for my life and for the life of this seminary,” Crews told trustees. “There has been no pressure coming from secret meetings in faraway places, but solely a decision on my part as to what is best for the seminary and my family.”

The trustees’ executive committee is charged with the responsibility of recommending a new president. Crews and board leaders indicated starting the process now will allow the seminary to take the time necessary to conduct a thorough search before his retirement at age 70.

The executive committee encompasses Gary Black, a retired insurance executive from California; John Funk, a healthcare industry consultant from California; Ed Adams, a director of missions from California; Bob Fargarson, an attorney from Tennessee; Janie Finlay, a homemaker from Texas; David Gill, a pastor from California; Calvin Kelly, a pastor from Alabama; E.W. McCall Sr., a pastor from California; Joe Panter, a businessman from Arizona; and Bob Swift a pastor from Kentucky.

Executive committee members noted the transition policy also allows the group to form an advisory group of representatives from several important seminary constituent groups.

In the other staffing actions, trustees approved the hiring of T. Christopher Turner as director for the Pacific Northwest campus.

Turner said he is convinced that “the Northwest campus will continue to grow in its efforts to shape effective leadership for the churches and ministries of the Pacific Northwest region through its unique relationship with the Northwest Baptist Convention. My wife, Tracy, and I view this move as a return home to some wonderful people and opportunities.”

Turner earned a doctor of philosophy degree in educational leadership from Washington State University in 2001. A member of the Golden Gate campus staff since 1998, he has served in such roles as director of recruitment and admissions, adjunct faculty and director of enrollment management and institutional effectiveness.

David William Johnson was elected as director of the Arizona campus.

Johnson holds the doctor of philosophy and master’s degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. He has taught as an adjunct professor at the Arizona campus since 1995 and in similar positions at other universities.

A longtime leader in Arizona Baptist work, Johnson has served as president of the Arizona Southern Baptist Convention and a trustee of Grand Canyon University. Since 1994 he has been pastor of First Southern Baptist Church in Phoenix and earlier pastored other churches in Arizona and Texas.

“I have been a passionate supporter of the vision of bringing contextual theological education to Arizona since Golden Gate Seminary came to Arizona in 1995,” Johnson said. “I hope to build on the solid work that has been accomplished by my predecessors to expand what we can offer to churches and future leaders in our state.”

Joseph Raymond Tallman, a specialist in Christian ministry to Muslims, was elected director of the David and Faith Kim School of Intercultural Studies.

Tallman has served on the faculty of Golden Gate as professional-in-residence during the past academic year and for 10 years he served with OC International coordinating mission efforts aimed at Muslim people groups in North Africa. Earlier, he served on the faculties of Moody Bible Institute and Calvary Bible College in Missouri.

Crews described Tallman as “a well-respected and able leader [who] will serve as a wonderful teacher and administrator. His relationships with evangelicals around the world and his intercultural experience with Muslim people will help take the classroom into the field.”

After graduating from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Mo., he earned the doctor of missiology from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Ill. He is author of the textbook, “An Introduction to World Missions,” published by Moody Press in 1986.

Also at the trustee meeting, Milton Higgins, president of the California Baptist Foundation, announced a $100,000 commitment to provide matching funds for the Glen Paden Scholarship Fund. The scholarship will assist students graduating from California Baptist University’s applied ministry program and attending either Golden Gate’s Northern or Southern California campuses. The fund is named after Glen Paden, a longtime Southern Baptist leader in California and former president of the foundation.

Trustees also welcomed new board members elected at the 2003 Southern Baptist Convention in Phoenix: Scott Andrews, pastor from Illinois; Milton Brock a businessman from Texas; Duffy Deardorff, pastor from Colorado; Cecil Sims, a retired minister from Washington; and Joe Taylor, a pastor from Nevada. In a brief ceremony, the new trustees signed a document stating their agreement with the Southern Baptist Convention’s Baptist Faith and Message statement of beliefs.
Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary is a Cooperative Program ministry of the Southern Baptist Convention and operates five campuses in Northern California, Southern California, Pacific Northwest, Arizona and Colorado.

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