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Oldham elected convention relations VP

SAN ANTONIO (BP)–Roger S. (Sing) Oldham, a pastor for more than 25 years, was elected June 11 as vice president for convention relations for the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee.

Oldham, an outgoing member of the Executive Committee, has been pastor of First Baptist Church in Martin, Tenn., since 1986 and also has served as an adjunct instructor at several educational institutions.

“He is a brilliant theologian, a man of incredible integrity and a distinguished leader as a pastor and among pastors,” Morris H. Chapman, president of the Executive Committee, told Baptist Press. “He is a world-class researcher, skilled writer and most of all an outstanding Christian.

“Sing shares my vision for expanding the Convention Relations office to more directly advance the theological discussion in the convention and the country, while also serving as a spokesman to interpret to the public Southern Baptists’ beliefs.”

Oldham, 52, who begins his new duties July 16, succeeds Kenyn Cureton, who now serves as vice president for church ministries for the Family Research Council in Washington.

Oldham was elected to the Executive Committee in 2002, most recently serving on the Cooperative Program subcommittee and the SBC Funding Study Committee. He also has served as vice president of the Tennessee Baptist Convention and as a trustee of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Oldham said he “heartily” subscribes to the SBC’s Baptist Faith and Message 2000.

A native of Louisville, Ky., Oldham holds doctor of theology and master of divinity degrees from Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Memphis, Tenn., and an undergraduate degree from Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green.

Oldham was an adjunct instructor in religious studies at the University of Tennessee at Martin from 1988-99 and again from 2001 to the present. Oldham also was an adjunct instructor in the doctor of ministry program at Mid-America Seminary from 1988 to the present and an adjunct instructor at Mid-Continent Baptist Bible College in Mayfield, Ky., from 1986-89 and in 1997.

He has written a weekly column in a local newspaper, published several articles in both academic and ministry journals, and read papers at national meetings of the Evangelical Theological Society, Society for the Scientific Study of Religion and the Oxford Society of Scholars.

Under Oldham’s leadership, First Baptist Martin has seen a 40 percent increase in average Sunday School attendance, from 440 to more than 600, in a small city that has been demographically stagnant for more than 30 years. The church baptized nearly 600 individuals, including more than 30 students from five other countries during Oldham’s pastorate, and more than 60 men surrendered to fulltime vocational ministry under his leadership.

Oldham helped First Baptist Martin increase their Cooperative Program giving to 10 percent of undesignated receipts, and other SBC offerings at the church have increased exponentially.

Before moving to Martin, Oldham was pastor of Broadmoor Baptist Church in Brinkley, Ark., from 1981-85; minister of education and youth at North Frayser Baptist Church in Memphis from 1978-81; and minister of music and youth at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Forrest City, Ark., from 1977-78.

Speaking to the Executive Committee, Chapman said, “He has the knowledge that when news organizations from around the world call the Executive Committee wanting to know who Southern Baptists are, what we’re up to, what we mean … [he] has it on the tip of his tongue and is able to respond in a way in these coming years that will be beneficial and helpful and a great plus to the Southern Baptist Convention and the Executive Committee.”

Oldham and his wife, Debbie, a registered nurse, have three grown daughters.

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  • Erin Roach