NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Herb Hollinger has announced his retirement as vice president for convention news from the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee effective July 1.
Hollinger has overseen Baptist Press, the SBC’s official daily news service, since March 1, 1991. During his leadership, Baptist Press was transformed from a news service delivered through the mail to an electronic news service seen throughout the world.
Baptist Press articles are featured in publications across the country, with state Baptist newspapers and journals as its primary customers. In addition to being available on the Internet at the SBC’s www.sbc.net and various other websites, Baptist Press also has more than 17,000 subscribers via e-mail.
Hollinger, who will be 60 upon retirement, said his work at Baptist Press has been rewarding and fun. “I thank God for the opportunity to work here and for the support of Southern Baptists during these years of ministry,” he said.
Hollinger also thanked the Executive Committee and Morris H. Chapman, president and chief executive officer of the Executive Committee, for the support they have given to Baptist Press.
Chapman praised Hollinger and his wife, Mary, for their dedication and service to the SBC.
“Herb has become a dear friend and a cherished colleague,” Chapman said. “Jodi [Mrs. Chapman] and I have great admiration and affection for him and Mary and we pray our thanks for the opportunity to have been associated with them during these last eight years.”
In a 1993 article about Baptist Press in the journal Baptist History and Heritage, Hollinger wrote, “Since most of what Southern Baptists do together is built on trust, the future of Baptist Press also hinges on the trustworthy — and cooperative — relationship it has with other SBC agencies and institutions and Baptist and secular news media. The future of Baptist Press is bright if it continues to keep its commitment to and the trust of Southern Baptists.”
Following his retirement, Hollinger and his wife, will move out West where he will work with local churches. “I felt the call of the Lord to go out and help grow churches and plant churches out West,” he said.
He also plans to spend time with visiting with his three children and 10 grandchildren.
Hollinger was born June 3, 1940, into a newspaper family in Burley, Idaho. After graduating from Burley High School, he attended the University of Idaho where he graduated with a bachelor of science degree in 1962. Hollinger later earned a master of divinity degree at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, Mill Valley, Calif., in 1973.
Hollinger, who grew up in the Mormon church, was converted to Christianity and baptized in Wichita Falls, Texas, while serving in the Air Force in 1962. He was later licensed to preach in 1970 by First Baptist Church, Burley, Idaho, and he was ordained to the gospel ministry by First Baptist Church, Graton, Calif., in 1971.
His first pastorate was at First Baptist, Graton, from 1970-73, followed by six years of ministry at Foothills Baptist Church, Issaquah, Wash.
Hollinger has also served in several denominational positions, including editor of The California Southern Baptist newsmagazine from 1983-1991; director of the division of communications and editor of the Northwest Baptist Witness for the Northwest Baptist Convention from 1979-83; and assistant to the director of public relations at Golden Gate Seminary, 1971.
He was a member of the executive committee of the Utah-Idaho Southern Baptist Convention from 1968-70 and associational Sunday school director for the Magic Valley Baptist Association from 1967-68.
His secular journalism career started at the University of Idaho where he edited “Argonaut,” the school newspaper. He has also served as assistant advertising manager and assistant editor of the Reminder Morning News and editor and general manager of the daily South Idaho Press.
Hollinger is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Association of State Baptist Papers (formerly the Southern Baptist Press Association), serving as the group’s president in 1988. He was also named the Jaycees’ Southern Idaho “Boss of the Year” in 1968.
Hollinger and his wife attend First Baptist Church, Franklin, Tenn., where he teaches an adult Sunday school class.