NEW ORLEANS (BP)–David Meacham, former executive director of the Nevada Baptist Convention, was among four new members of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary’s faculty elected during the seminary trustees’ Oct. 10 meeting.
In addition to Meacham, who will join the faculty as professor of church planting, trustees also elected Archie England as associate professor of Old Testament and Hebrew; Jim Graham as instructor in Christian education; and Margaret “Margie” Williamson as assistant professor of Christian education for the seminary’s North Georgia campus.
Trustees also approved the promotion of Laurie Watts to associate vice president of information technology. The first woman to serve in such a role at NOBTS, Watts will retain her position as assistant professor of educational technology.
Meacham also will be director of the seminary’s Cecil B. Day Center for Church Planting and also will be the New Orleans director of the Nehemiah Project, a partnership agreement between the Southern Baptist Convention’s North American Mission Board and NOBTS.
NAMB’s Nehemiah Project seeks to bring about a dramatically higher percentage of seminary graduates to become church planters across the United States. For NOBTS, the Nehemiah Project will have urban environments set as priority areas for new church starts, reinforcing New Orleans Seminary’s own commitment to establishing healthy urban churches.
“We are thrilled to have a church-planting professor who has spent much of his adult life mentoring pastors and church planters in a region where the church in general and Baptists in particular are a small minority,” NOBTS President Chuck Kelley said of Meacham.
Serving as Nevada Baptists’ executive director since 1992, Meacham also was editor of The Nevada Baptist newsjournal and executive director of the Nevada Baptist Foundation. Meacham also was an executive team member of NAMB’s Strategic Focus City – Las Vegas 2001 initiative to share the gospel in Las Vegas.
Meacham previously was a missionary of the Home Mission Board (now North American Mission Board) division of associational missions, serving as director of missions of Southern Nevada Baptist Association in Las Vegas for 11 years. He earlier served as a missionary of the HMB church extension division, director of the Puget Sound Baptist Association in the state of Washington and pastor of Big Bear Baptist Chapel in Big Bear Lake, Calif. In 1987, Meacham received the HMB Outstanding Director of Missions Award. He also served previously as pastor of First Baptist Church in Moreno Valley, Calif., and as youth director of churches in California and Mississippi.
Born in Renton, Wash., and raised in Georgia and California, Meacham earned a bachelor of arts degree in TV and film from San Diego (Calif.) State University and both the master of theology and doctor of ministry degrees from NOBTS. He and his wife, Sue, have three adult daughters, Stephanie, Meredith and Melissa.
“Few individuals have more extensive field experience in church planting than David Meacham,” said Steve Lemke, seminary provost. “We are honored to have someone coming from a state convention executive director position to pour his wisdom and expertise into the lives of the next generation of seminary students.”
Archie England, an experienced Old Testament scholar and pastor, most recently served as associate professor of Old Testament at North Greenville College in Tigerville, S.C. While teaching at the 1,200-student liberal arts college, England served as interim and short-supply pastor for a number of South Carolina Baptist churches.
England previously served as an adjunct instructor for Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Memphis, Tenn., where he completed biblical language studies in Hebrew, Ugaritic, Akkadian and middle Egyptian. Additionally, he was pastor of Salem Baptist Church in Henning, Tenn.
England also served as pastor for Blythe Creek Baptist Church in Mathiston, Miss., and First Southern Baptist Church in Cudahy, Calif., as well as interim pastor for other Mississippi and California churches.
“What first attracted me to Dr. England was the way he combines the mind of a brilliant scholar with the passion of a revival preacher,” Kelley noted.
Valedictorian of his high school class in Grenada, Miss., England has taught high school math, English and Bible classes at Leffingwell Christian High School in Norwalk, Calif., and has served as a staff accountant for Ernst & Young and First Tennessee Bank. He has also worked in leasing and property management.
England earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Mississippi in Oxford; a master of divinity degree from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in Mill Valley, Calif.; and a doctor of philosophy degree from Mid-America. He and his wife, Karen, have three daughters, Allison Whitney, Courtney Elizabeth and Emily Brooke.
“Archie England is already recognized as one of the rising stars in Old Testament studies,” Lemke said. “His addition to our strong biblical studies faculty will be one more good reason for people come to study the Bible at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.”
Jim Graham is a youth ministry specialist who serves as a research fellow for NOBTS’ Youth Ministry Institute, a cutting-edge program providing leadership in advanced research, practical application, quality training and ongoing dialogue for those who work with youth. Currently pursuing a doctor of philosophy degree at NOBTS, he has served as an adjunct faculty member in the area of Christian education for NOBTS’ Leavell College and graduate school.
Kelley introduced the instructor rank to NOBTS five years ago in part to give outstanding doctoral students an opportunity to experience the life of a seminary professor. “Jim Graham is an excellent illustration of why we are committed to using short-term teaching experiences to train the next generation of seminary professors,” he said.
Graham also currently serves as minister of education and outreach for Riverside Baptist Church, River Ridge, La. He has served in the youth ministry of three Texas churches, where he led youth in Sunday school programs, mission trips, student camps, discipleship programs and outreach activities. He has written extensively, including a six-year Sunday school curriculum for teenagers, multiple retreat and camp Bible studies and a discipleship notebook for youth.
A native of Miami, Graham earned a bachelor of music education degree from Samford University in Birmingham, Ala., and a master of arts degree in religious education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. He anticipates completing Ph.D. studies at NOBTS within the next two years. He and his wife, Robin, have two children, Emily and Matthew James.
Of Graham’s election, Lemke said, “Under the leadership of Dr. Allen Jackson, the NOBTS Youth Ministry Institute has become a national center for the study of how to impact youth for Jesus Christ. Jim Graham has already made a significant contribution to YMI, and we look forward to what he will add to our strong program in youth ministry at NOBTS.”
Margaret Williamson, of Conyers, Ga., who previously had served as instructor in Christian education, was elected to the tenure track faculty and was promoted to assistant professor of Christian education for the seminary’s North Georgia campus. She will retain her position as associate director of the NOBTS extension center system. Williamson earned her doctor of philosophy degree in Christian education from NOBTS this past May.
“Margie has made a tremendous contribution to the North Georgia campus through her teaching, student assistance and administrative gifts,” said Jimmy Dukes, dean of NOBTS’ extension center system and director of the North Georgia campus. “She has also contributed greatly to the organization and administration of our extension center system.”
In other action, Darryl Ferrington, associate professor of music education, was approved for a January-December 2002 sabbatical. Harry Eskew, who retired this past July, was elected as professor emeritus of music history and hymnology.