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Michael Chute to leave Fla. paper for Baptist college teaching post

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (BP)–Michael Chute, executive editor of the Florida Baptist Witness, has told the Baptist state newspaper’s board of commissioners he will resign his position, effective Feb. 6, 2001.

Chute has been named chair of the department of communications at William Carey College, Hattiesburg, Miss., and elected to the faculty rank of associate professor of communications. His wife, Katherine, assistant professor of communications at Jacksonville University, will serve William Carey as executive assistant to the president for development and external relations.

William Carey College is a four-year liberal arts school affiliated with the Mississippi Baptist Convention. The school enrolls 2,400 students on three campuses, Hattiesburg and Gulfport, Miss., and New Orleans.

“I leave the Witness with mixed emotions,” Chute said. “The decision to leave has been difficult. However, after several months of prayerfully seeking God’s will, there is no doubt the Lord is leading us to serve him at William Carey College.

“I came to the Witness with the belief that the state paper should inform Florida Baptists about what God is doing around the world and how they could be on mission with him. During my tenure, the Witness has been unapologetically a missions-minded Christian publication.

“William Carey is very much a missions-minded institution with a long history of firsthand involvement in missions. I look forward to not only teaching students in the communications discipline, but also instilling service to the Lord over a lifetime.”

Chute, 50, who has served as Witness editor since June 1995, came to Florida from Oklahoma Baptist University, Shawnee, where he headed the journalism department as assistant professor of journalism. Earlier, he served 13 years as an International Mission Board missionary in Latin America and Asia where he was an overseas correspondent and communications consultant. In his position, Chute traveled in more than 50 countries helping missionaries and national Baptists in communication projects, and writing articles for The Commission magazine, as well as Woman’s Missionary Union, Brotherhood and Baptist state publications.

Previously, Chute was managing editor of Word & Way, state newspaper for Missouri Baptists, director of college relations for Southwest Baptist University, Bolivar, Mo., and communications specialist with LifeWay Christian Resources, Nashville, Tenn. He also has served as adjunct professor at several universities, most recently at the University of North Florida.

Chute earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism from OBU, the master’s degree in communication at Southwest Missouri State University, Springfield, and completed his doctoral studies for the Ph.D. degree in mass communication at the University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg.

He has won more than 25 awards in writing and photography from the Baptist Communicators Association, Religious Public Relations Council, Evangelical Press Association and Associated Church Press. He received special IMB recognition for his nearly 30 years in SBC communications, from Taiwan Baptists for “Bold Mission Taiwan” evangelistic efforts and from OBU for advising students with The Bison newspaper. He has been listed in Who’s Who in Religion.

The Chutes, and their children, Ryan, 21, and Kristen, 16, have been members of Fruit Cove Baptist Church during their six years in Jacksonville.
Editor search: The board of commissioners of the Florida Baptist Witness has begun the search for a new editor. Resumes should be sent to commission chair Vernon Harkey, c/o Editor Search, First Baptist Church, 100 N. Lake Ave., Avon Park, FL 33825, or e-mail, [email protected] Resumes will be accepted through Friday, Dec. 8.

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