SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (BP)-Jim Hamilton, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Sellersburg, Ind., has been selected as the new executive director of the Dakota Southern Baptist Fellowship, which will become the Dakota Baptist Convention on Jan. 1.
Hamilton, 45, also a former pastor in Alaska, was elected by the Dakota fellowship’s executive board on Oct. 24, following Dakota Baptists’ Oct. 22-23 annual meeting in Sioux Falls, S.D.
He is the immediate past president of the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana and a former president and executive board chairman of the Alaska Baptist Convention.
Hamilton told Baptist Press he is saddened at leaving the Sellersburg church — “a church we’ve poured our lives into toward becoming a Great Commission church with a team environment,” but he is “excited about the possibilities and potential of what God can do in the Dakotas. Ultimately that’s the bottom line for us — following God’s calling.”
He succeeds Doc Lindsey, who led the Dakota fellowship from 1993-2002 and now is a church planter strategist in New Mexico.
Myron Grueneich, chairman of the Dakota executive board, described Hamilton as having been “involved in associational and state convention work on all levels.”
Hamilton has led the Sellersburg church since 1999, having earlier served as pastor of Muldoon Road Baptist Church in Anchorage and two churches in Evansville, Ind., Northeast Park Baptist Church and Friendship Baptist Church. He also has been a residential counselor and cottage supervisor with Alaska Baptist Family Services. He has served on the SBC Committee on Nominations representing Indiana Baptists and Alaska Baptists.
“It is with a strong sense of excitement and anticipation we welcome Jim and his family to the Dakota Baptist Convention,” Grueneich, associate pastor of First Baptist Church in Williston, N.D. said. “We thank God for His clear leading and direction. We praise Him for His provision as we continue to labor together to serve Jesus Christ across the Dakotas.”
Hamilton earned an undergraduate degree from Wayland Baptist University in Plainview, Texas; a master of arts degree in biblical studies from Trinity Theological Seminary in Newburg, Ind.; and a doctor of ministry degree from Bethany Theological Seminary in Dothan, Ala.
He and his wife, Lisa, have three teenage children, Zachary, Abigail and Jolene.
Messengers to the Dakota fellowship’s annual meeting unanimously approved the change to state convention status, which will provide Dakota representation on various SBC entities, effective Jan. 1.