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LifeWay makes changes in church resources staff

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)-–LifeWay Christian Resources has named Selma Wilson as associate to the vice president of its church resources division and announced other divisional leadership changes to enhance LifeWay’s ministries. All changes were effective Aug. 20.

Wilson is a 10-year veteran with LifeWay who served most recently as director of organizational performance for church resources. She led in the development of LifeWay’s women’s ministry and launched Journey, a women’s monthly devotional magazine for which she served as editor-in-chief from 1993-98. She and her husband Rodney currently serve as co-editors-in-chief of HomeLife magazine, LifeWay’s national family magazine that reaches 400,000 readers each month. The couple also leads marriage conferences nationally and authored “Extraordinary Marriage,” an interactive Bible study for couples, slated for release by LifeWay in September.

Wilson will work beside recently appointed church resources interim vice president John Kramp. “Selma is highly skilled in personnel management, organizational development and publishing and is active with her husband in family ministry nationwide,” Kramp said. “She will help provide needed direction to our church resources team as we improve our ministries, champion the pastor and help grow the church.”

LifeWay’s church resources division produces a broad spectrum of ministry helps for churches and individuals including Sunday School curriculum, discipleship literature, church training events, music, audio and video recordings and two lines of Vacation Bible School curriculum. The division employs more than 600 people.

Other key changes in the church resources leadership team include:

Louis Hanks, formerly director of publishing, is now director of ministry and business development, a new position that oversees nearly a dozen cross-functional teams that will strengthen LifeWay’s magazine offerings, women’s ministry, Vacation Bible School and childhood publishing, music, new ventures and other areas. Hanks joined LifeWay in 1978 from the pastorate and has served in a variety of editorial and publishing positions. He has authored several books, most recently “Essentials for Excellence,” which he co-authored with Alan Raughton.

David Francis, formerly director of regional operations, now directs a newly organized Sunday School team that will place stronger emphasis on the strategies and products churches need to grow their Sunday Schools. He joined LifeWay in 1997 as associate director of church leadership before moving into regional operations. His most recent work with 18 church consultants in the field has brought him into contact with numerous churches seeking help in Sunday School health, growth and organization. Francis is the author of “Spiritual Gifts” from LifeWay Press. Prior to coming to LifeWay, he served for 13 years as associate pastor/minister of education at First Baptist Church, Garland, Texas.

Jay Johnston, formerly director of church ministry leadership, is now director of a new emphasis called FAITH/Evangelism & Discipleship, helping grow LifeWay’s FAITH evangelism strategy and lead the company’s discipleship efforts to help churches develop Great Commission Christians. The FAITH/Evangelism work will involve all of LifeWay’s resources to equip churches to reach the lost. His work in the discipleship area will include LifeWay’s networks and church leaders to develop an effective strategy to mature believers into fully devoted followers of Christ. He also will work with SBC President Bobby Welch and LifeWay’s network partnerships team to help Southern Baptists reach their goal of 1 million baptisms in 2005. LifeWay announced in mid-August it would invest $1.6 million in 14 state conventions to help double baptisms in those states. Johnston joined LifeWay in 1988 after serving on church staffs in Tennessee, Florida and Louisiana. He also served in the family life department of the Florida Baptist Convention.

Mike Miller, formerly director of church relations, is now director of LifeWay’s regional operations. A prolific author who most recently published “The Kingdom Focused Leader” (Broadman & Holman 2004), he has served on staff at churches in six states and currently is interim pastor at West Jackson Baptist Church in Jackson, Tenn. He joined LifeWay in 1994.

Gary Hauk, formerly director of leadership and adult publishing, is now director of publishing, overseeing all of the division’s childhood, student and leadership/adult publishing and multimedia efforts. Hauk served on staff at numerous churches in Texas and Oklahoma before joining LifeWay in 1978.

Jim Johnston, managing director of publishing services and multimedia, will serve as interim director of marketing, overseeing market research and intelligence, customer interaction strategy, advertising and promotion and customer service. LifeWay is engaged in a nationwide search for a permanent marketing director, and when that vacancy is filled, Johnston will return to his duties in publishing services and multimedia. Johnston has a background in journalism and served with the SBC’s former Brotherhood Commission before joining LifeWay in 1995. He was part of a team that launched LifeWay.com in 2000.

Mark Marshall, formerly director of the southeast region, is now director of a new training and events team, bringing together the related ministries of leadership training and student, men’s and women’s events such as Collegiate Week and Beth Moore’s “Living Proof Live!” events. A pastor himself, Marshall will lead LifeWay’s effort to champion the pastor, including the new initiative with LifeWay President James T. Draper Jr. to engage more young SBC pastors in the direction of the denomination. Marshall has served six churches as transitional pastor and continues to serve in this LifeWay-designed initiative to help churches when they are between pastors. Marshall served on church staffs in Texas and Georgia for 12 years before joining LifeWay in 1997.

Bill Taylor continues to serve as director of network partnerships. Before joining LifeWay in 1994, he was executive pastor of North Phoenix (Ariz.) Baptist Church, having previously served on church staffs in Texas, Florida, Georgia and Louisiana.

Gary Rhoades continues as director of ministry/business performance, overseeing the financial and business processes for the division. He joined LifeWay in 1998.

“The church resources division has a wonderful opportunity to move forward in ministry, and these changes in our leadership team will maximize the effort,” Kramp said. “I’m optimistic about the future. We have great people who are leading with their strengths. Further, we are uniquely equipped, now more than ever before, to champion the pastor and grow the church. These are great days to strengthen relationships and to work together to accomplish the assignment God has given us. We have a focus on the Kingdom of God and our part in it. It will be exciting to see how God works in, through and around us in the days ahead.”

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