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Longtime Baptist editor, journalist joins Baptist Press

NASHVILLE (BP) – The SBC Executive Committee has hired award-winning journalist Scott Barkley as national correspondent for Baptist Press, the Convention’s news service.

Scott Barkley

Barkley comes to Baptist Press after 16 years at The Christian Index, the nation’s oldest continuously published religious newspaper, which now publishes news and features for Southern Baptists in Georgia. Prior to being promoted to editor in 2018, Barkley worked his way through the ranks as production editor, web content editor and associate managing editor. He was instrumental in the news journal’s transition from a print edition to an all-digital format.

As national correspondent for Baptist Press, Barkley will focus on matters of theological and denominational interest to the SBC.

“We wanted to add a highly competent journalist with a deep understanding of the SBC in order to better fulfill our ministry assignment of providing news of, about and for Southern Baptists,” said George Schroeder, the Executive Committee’s associate vice president for convention news. “Scott easily exceeds those requirements.”

Baptist Press Managing Editor Laura Erlanson said she has followed Barkley’s work for a long time.

“I have been very impressed with what he has done at the Index,” Erlanson said. “Scott’s consistency in finding and reporting important stories helped turn the Index into a must-read Baptist news site. I’m thrilled to have him on our team at BP.”

Barkley, a lay leader at First Baptist Church of Cartersville, Ga., said he is excited to take on the new challenge and responsibility.

“I’ve long appreciated the role Baptist Press plays in communicating to Southern Baptists and am honored to join the staff,” Barkley said. “Working with the official news service of the SBC carries a lot of responsibility, and I know the team in place is more than up to the task.”

Gerald Harris, former editor of the Christian Index, applauded the hire, calling Barkley “an excellent addition to the Baptist Press staff” and adding that during his tenure at the Christian Index, Barkley has “been a blessing to me personally and to Georgia Baptists.”

“Scott is a man of integrity, a loving husband and a father, an exemplary churchman, a gifted journalist and a denominational loyalist,” Harris said.

Barkley joined Baptist Press on Dec. 1.

“His addition has already been a huge benefit and made an immediate impact,” Schroeder said. “And now that I’m getting to know him better, I’m far more impressed with his desire to honor God in everything he does.”

Barkley’s personal life demonstrates that desire.

While in college at Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Ala., he served as president, community ministries director, worship director and as a small group leader of the university’s Baptist Campus Ministries. And after serving in summer missions in Colorado and Wyoming, Barkley was engaged as a North American Mission Board missionary for two years in Cheyenne, Wyo.

He continues his longtime involvement with a mentoring program of the Cartersville City School System and serves as an advisor to the Cartersville High student newspaper, The Chipper.

Scott and Amy Barkley have four children: Rylee, Jackson, Bryce and Charlotte, three of them through adoption. The Barkleys are members of Cartersville First Baptist Church where he serves as a deacon, a Bible study leader and children and youth group ministry leader.

In addition to the Christian Index, Barkley has written for The Cherokee County Herald, The Gadsden Times, The Alabama Baptist, The Cartersville Daily-Tribune, Cartersville Patch, Johns Creek Patch, GEORGIA Magazine, Friday Night Football Magazine and SBC Life. Along the way, he’s picked up professional recognition including first-place awards for his writing from the Baptist Communicators Association.

    About the Author

  • Jon D. Wilke

    Jon D. Wilke is media relations director for the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee.

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