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Kevin Parker to succeed N.M. editor John Loudat

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (BP) — Kevin G. Parker has been named as the 15th editor of the Baptist New Mexican, succeeding John Loudat, whose April 30 retirement after 21 years of service caps the longest tenure in the newsjournal’s history.

Parker, 49, has been pastor First Baptist Church in Aztec, N.M., the past 10 years. He also will serve as the Baptist Convention of New Mexico’s director of media services encompassing social media and video production.

Loudat, a New Mexico native, published nearly 1,000 issues of the BCNM paper and penned 547 editorials. He edited many issues each year highlighting the Cooperative Program and state and national evangelism and missions initiatives and addressing moral and legislative issues. His passion for world missions encompassed seven mission trips to north and central South America, Europe and Southeast Asia.

Parker, in an article about Loudat upon his retirement, recounted that Loudat “became familiar across state as the storyteller of God’s work among New Mexico Baptist churches.”

“[Loudat’s] iconic camera and notepad distinguished him at events as the presence of the press,” Parker wrote. “His gentle and caring personality endeared him to those whose story he told. Though busy taking notes, he consistently communicated genuine interest in the stories of others. As an editor, he faced difficult editorial decisions with integrity and grace.”

Loudat had been a pastor of churches in New Mexico and Texas for 14 years when selected as editor of the Baptist New Mexican in November 1993, most recently having led First Baptist Church in Artesia, N.M.

Loudat was honored with a retirement dinner April 21 at Sandia Baptist Church in Albuquerque by nearly 100 friends, former church staff co-workers and childhood friends. Joseph Bunce, the BCNM’s executive director and master of ceremonies for the evening, presented Loudat with retirement gifts on behalf of the convention, including a limited edition Gutenberg print of a page from Luke 23 recounting Christ’s crucifixion.

“It seemed appropriate because of John’s love for the Bible and love for his work as a state paper editor,” Bunce said.

Loudat’s beloved New Mexico Singing Churchmen sang several anthems launching the evening and concluded the event with “My Tribute” by Andraé Crouch.

During his tenure at the state convention, Loudat also served as the convention’s public relations director, director of the division of communication ministries, leader of the information services team and the BCNM’s liaison with the convention’s Christian Life Committee.

He was the 2005-06 president of the Association of State Baptist Publications.

Kevin Parker

Parker, who begins his duties May 19, was elected in a unanimous vote of the BCNM Executive Board during their April 20 quarterly meeting.

Parker has been president of the New Mexico Baptist Pastors’ Conference and the BCNM’s second vice president. Last fall, he was elected as chairman of the BCNM Executive Board for 2015. He presided over the board’s January meeting but resigned prior to the April meeting when he would be presented as a candidate for the editor’s position.

Active throughout his ministry in Southern Baptist work locally, statewide and nationally, Parker served on the SBC Committee on Nominations in 2013 and the SBC Credentials Committee in 2012.

Parker holds a doctor of ministry degree from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in California, a master of divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Texas; and an undergraduate degree in radio/television/film from the University of Texas. He was licensed to the gospel ministry by Windsor Park Baptist Church in Austin, Texas, in 1988 and ordained by First Baptist Church in San Angelo, Texas, in 1992. He and his family moved to New Mexico in 2005 from Big Spring, Texas, where he had served as senior pastor of Hillcrest Baptist Church.

Parker served First Baptist Church in West Palm Beach, Fla., from 1992-2000, as associate minister of media, associate pastor for broadcast ministries and associate pastor for pastoral care and minister to single adults.

Parker committed his life to Christ at age 9 and began serving in his home church’s television ministry as a 13-year-old. While in college, he directed and edited church broadcasts, and while in seminary, he led his church’s media ministry.

He and his wife Susan Elaine, married for 27 years, have four children: Stephen, 23, a civil engineer in Tucumcari, N.M.; Sarah, 21, a student at New Mexico State University; Anna Marie, 18, who plans to attend Eastern New Mexico University in the fall; and Ashley Joy, 16.

More on John Loudat

John Loudat, as editor of the Baptist New Mexican, served under two BCNM executive directors, Joseph Bunce and Claude Cone.

“John has proven himself to be a man of incredible integrity and serves as an example to all of us of a committed servant of Jesus Christ,” Bunce stated. “He has served the BCNM as editor longer than any individual in the convention’s history. We are indeed indebted to him for moving the convention paper into a computer age and even into an electronic age with the e-edition of The BNM.”

Cone said Loudat “never wavered in his commitment to family and the ministry. His integrity is impeccable. In the years we served together at the BCNM, I found him to be a team player and very accurate and fair in his reporting. He always longed for news from the New Mexico Baptist churches. John Loudat worked long and hard to keep the people known as New Mexico Baptists informed and challenged.”

As he enters retirement, Loudat said he anticipates spending more time with his wife Kathy, his two married children, three stepchildren and four grandchildren.

Loudat became a Christian while serving in the Air Force in 1973 and surrendered to God’s call to preach one year later. He holds a master of divinity degree from Southwestern and an undergraduate degree from Texas Tech University.

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