NASHVILLE (BP) — The Executive Committee has named Shawn Hendricks as Baptist Press director of operations. The new role will be in addition to his regular duties as managing editor.
As managing editor/director of operations, Hendricks will assume additional administrative assignments while continuing to direct and edit content released by Baptist Press. Art Toalston, who has served as editor of Baptist Press for more than 23 years, will transition into a new role as senior editor. In his new position, Toalston, 65, will step aside from some of the daily administrative duties to devote himself more fully to the same editing, writing and mentoring tasks he has done since becoming editor.
“Art has devoted more than 30 years of stellar service to the Lord and Southern Baptists, first as a staff writer with IMB and then editor of Baptist Press for almost 24 years,” Roger S. Oldham, vice president for Convention communications and relations with the SBC Executive Committee, said. “He has demonstrated tremendous gifting and competence across a range of journalistic skills such as time-sensitive news writing, content development and copy editing and has earned the trust of so many ministry leaders at every level of Baptist life and from every part of the world. We are grateful he will continue to be a vibrant part of the Baptist Press leadership team.”
Hendricks accepted the position of Baptist Press managing editor in 2013 after serving two years in the same role for the Biblical Recorder, newsjournal of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. Before that, he served for nearly 10 years as a staff writer — and later senior writer — at the International Mission Board.
“When Shawn joined Baptist Press in 2013, his administrative and leadership skills became immediately apparent,” Oldham said. “Art has worked closely with Shawn over the past couple of years to mentor him and model before him how to manage the duties of a daily news service. We have every confidence Baptist Press will continue to thrive under his able hands as he steps into this expanded role.”
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 newsjournal for the Missouri Baptist Convention, Word & Way, 1999-2002.
A 1996 communication arts/journalism graduate from Union University in Jackson, Tenn., Hendricks completed internships with the Indiana Baptist, newsjournal of the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana, and The Jackson Sun (Tenn.) daily newspaper. He is a native of Troy, Mo.
Hendricks, 41, was selected as Baptist Communicators Association’s president-elect for 2016-2017 at its April annual meeting. He was program co-chair for the BCA’s 2014 annual meeting at the LifeWay Conference Center in Ridgecrest, N.C. He and his wife Stephanie have a 7-year-old daughter Laura.
Before becoming editor of Baptist Press in 1992, Toalston worked seven years at the International Mission Board as a staff writer and 10 years in reporting and journalism education in Mississippi and Ohio.
Toalston 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.