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NOBTS names Steve Moore, Louis Smith to lead centers

NEW ORLEANS (BP)–Steve Moore, a former International Mission Board missionary to Brazil, and Louis Smith, former director of the Mississippi Baptist Convention’s church-minister relations and annuity department for 14 years, have been named as new directors of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary’s extension centers in Albany, Ga., and Clinton, Miss., respectively.

The South Georgia Center classes, providing training for undergraduate- and graduate-level students, are held at Sherwood Baptist Church at 2201 Whispering Pines Road in Albany. The Clinton extension center classes, providing training for graduate-level students, are held at First Baptist Church, Clinton, and on the Mississippi College campus.

Moore remembers his first experience as a Southern Baptist missionary, long before he began serving as senior associate pastor at Sherwood Baptist where he is currently involved in coordinating missions and other pastoral care duties.

Having worked with youth and college students at Paramount Baptist Church in Amarillo, Texas, Moore decided to call the IMB’s 1-800 number to ask about opportunities to minister. He was asked, “Given all the facts about you [seminary graduate, experienced minister], how soon can you be ready?”

That began a ten-year journey in South America for Moore and his wife, Laura, that included collegiate ministry in a university with more than 50,000 students in Sao Paulo, one of the largest cities of the world.

Moore then continued his student-related ministries when he moved back to the United States at First Baptist Church, Springdale, Ark., where he also worked in lay mobilization, new member assimilation, adult discipleship and leadership development.

“God has used Steve as a consultant for pastors and staff members to increase their effectiveness in ministry,” said Sherwood Baptist Church’s senior pastor, Michael Catt, noting that before coming on staff at Sherwood, Moore helped the church fine-tune its ministries. “He will be a valuable addition to the NOBTS team as we seek to impact this region for Christ.”

Jimmy Dukes, dean of the NOBTS extension center system and dean of the seminary’s North Georgia campus, citing Moore’s experience in teaching at a Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary extension center in Texas, in addition to the local church, added, “I am thankful to have him, and I am grateful to Sherwood Baptist Church for sharing his ministry with us.”

A native of Kansas City, Mo., Moore earned a master of divinity degree in church history and theology, graduating cum laude, from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City. He earned his bachelor of arts degree in political science with an emphasis on constitutional law and law history from the University of Missouri in Columbia, where he met his wife, who once served as a summer missionary in Quito, Ecuador.

The Moores have three children, Joshua, April and Christina.

Smith, before retiring this past April as the Mississippi convention’s church-minister relations contact for NOBTS, had visited the New Orleans campus at least twice a year to interview prospective candidates for the state convention. An alumnus of NOBTS, graduating in 1960 with a master of divinity degree, Smith has served as NOBTS’ Mississippi Alumni Association state chapter president. He also earned his bachelor of arts degree from Mississippi College.

A native of Skene, Miss., Smith previously served as pastor of Briarwood Drive Baptist Church in Jackson and First Baptist Church, Canton, after serving other churches in Alabama and Arkansas. While Smith’s church membership resides at First Baptist Church, Jackson, he currently is serving as interim pastor at Blackjack (named after the Blackjack Oak tree) Baptist Church in Yazoo City. He also served in a variety of capacities for the state convention: as member of the convention board, as chairman of its executive committee and as chairman of the convention’s Order of Business Committee. He additionally served as moderator of the Hinds-Madison Baptist Association.

“Louis brings extensive experience in pastoral ministry,” Dukes said, “as well as experience working with pastors and churches in Mississippi. I am confident he will have an impact on our Clinton Center.”

He and his wife, the former Gayle Thornton, have two adult children, Louis and John.

Through extension centers located all over the Southeast, New Orleans Seminary is pushing the campus out closer to the church field, making it possible for someone who may be in a ministry position to maintain that position and pursue theological education. Using non-traditional schedules, technology-based classrooms and church-focused competency-based curriculum, the extension centers provide training that encourages healthy churches.

For additional information about New Orleans Seminary’s extension centers, contact Dukes at 1-800-514-1175 or visit online at www.nobts.edu/extensions.

    About the Author

  • Shannon Baker

    Shannon Baker is director of communications for the Baptist Resource Network of Pennsylvania/South Jersey and editor of the Network’s weekly newsletter, BRN United.

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