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New COO and investment head named for SBC Annuity Board

DALLAS (BP)–O.S. Hawkins, president of the Annuity Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, has named one veteran officer and one new employee for two of the top management positions at the board.
He told staff Feb. 18 he has chosen John R. Jones, 44, senior vice president and executive officer for investment services, to become executive vice president-chief operating officer, succeeding W. Gordon Hobgood Jr., who is retiring March 1 after 10 years as chief operating officer.
Hawkins said Rodric E. Cummins, 40, will succeed Jones in investments. Cummins currently is senior vice president and chief investment officer for the Baptist Foundation of Texas.
Both appointments are for March 1 and are subject to trustee approval during their Feb. 23-24 meeting in Dallas.
Hawkins, in a prepared statement, said, “It has been my joy these past four months to observe the expertise and excellence which characterizes John Jones. For the past several years it has also been my joy to pastor the Roddy Cummins family at the First Baptist Church in Dallas and to observe firsthand his dedication to Christ, his family and his church. Roddy Cummins has guided the investment program of the Baptist Foundation of Texas which has more than $1.5 billion under management. He brings to the Annuity Board the confidence of a proven track record in the financial investment field, coupled with a love and loyalty for and to Southern Baptist churches, ministers and institutions. Both of these men are marked by a reputation that is spotless and by character that is beyond reproach.”
Hawkins said, “I have spent my first months in careful study and conversations with trustees and others before making any changes. I am excited about these two announcements. These men are uniquely equipped to help carry out the trustee mandate to ‘Take something great and make it greater.'”
Another vacancy in administration occurred earlier in February with the resignation of James T. Herod, general counsel and executive officer for marketing, legal and actuarial services, who, coincidentally, went to the Baptist Foundation of Texas as senior vice president and chief administrative officer. Hawkins said other announcements regarding organizational changes and personnel appointments will be made in the next few months.
Jones joined the Annuity Board’s investment division in January 1989 when assets were $2.38 billion and was elected senior vice president to lead the division in February 1990. He presided over outside managers as assets grew to nearly $6.4 billion at the end of January 1998. Jones came to the Annuity Board from the position of senior vice president-trust and head of the employee benefit department for NCNB Texas National Bank.
He is a graduate of Southern Methodist University where he earned the bachelor of business administration degree. Professionally, he earned the Chartered Life Underwriter designation from the American College and also holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.
Cummins joined the Baptist Foundation of Texas in 1984 after five years as a financial analyst with Mobil Pipeline Company, Dallas, previously working as manager of financial planning for Sunwise Enterprise Corp., Dallas. The Baptist Foundation of Texas is the largest Baptist foundation in the nation and provides investment management and trust administration services for more than 250 Baptist agencies, institutions, organizations and churches across the country. From his initial foundation position, Cummins became trust investment officer in 1986, vice president and chief investment officer in 1991, and was promoted to senior vice president and chief investment officer in 1996.
Cummins is a magna cum laude graduate of Texas A&M University where he received the bachelor of business administration degree in finance. He also holds the professional accreditation, Chartered Financial Analyst.
Jones and his wife, Ann, have spiritual roots in Hyde Park Baptist Church, Austin, Texas, and are presently members of First Baptist Church, Grapevine, where Jones serves as a member of the finance committee and teaches an adult Sunday school class. They are the parents of Ryan, 16; Grant, 14; and Ashley, 11.
Cummins and his wife, Connie, are the parents of Meghan, 16; Joni, 13; and Taylor, 9. At First Baptist Church, Dallas, Cummins serves as chairman of the finance ministry team, is an active deacon, and both Cummins and his wife teach in the junior high division of the Sunday school.
Gordon Hobgood, who turned 65 last August, will be honored by trustees at a dinner Feb. 23.
Hobgood, and Paul W. Powell, former president of the Annuity Board, advised trustees in November 1996 to begin considering a transition of leadership, observing both men were nearing the age of 65 when both planned to retire. Early in 1997, Powell offered to step aside to allow election of a new president who could then begin to build his own team of leaders, beginning with a choice of Hobgood’s successor. Trustees formed a search committee that led to the election of Hawkins in September 1997.

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  • Thomas E. Miller Jr.