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Qualls, Spannagel to join Missouri convention staff

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (BP)–Kenny Qualls will step down as president of the Missouri Baptist Convention to join the MBC staff as associate director/church and family equipping, according to a report in The Pathway, the convention’s official newsjournal.

Qualls, 39, resigned as pastor of Springhill Baptist Church in Springfield Dec. 15, where he has served the last 12 years. He is expected to announce his resignation as convention president in a letter to the executive board prior to taking the job in Jefferson City on Jan. 6.

Monte Shinkle, pastor of Concord Baptist Church in Jefferson City, will move up from first vice president to fill Qualls’ one-year term as president.

Joining Qualls will be Roy Spannagel, who has been serving on the staff at Riverside Baptist Church in Denver. Spannagel will fill the position of associate director/missions and evangelism.

Rounding out Executive Director David Clippard’s management team will be:

— Larry Thomas, a 19-year veteran of the MBC staff, continuing as associate director/financial services;

— David Waganer, a two-year MBC employee, continuing as associate director/communications and development.

The naming of the four members of the executive director’s management team is part of a restructuring of the MBC which will bring the convention’s ministries under the direction of the four associate executive directors who will report to Clippard. Up to 19 jobs also will be cut, reducing the convention’s workforce from 93 to around 75 in the reorganization. The job cuts became necessary after Cooperative Program receipts for 2002 fell about 15 percent short of the budgeted goal. However, Clippard said Dec. 10 that the MBC would finish the fiscal year “in the black.”

Qualls said the MBC job was something he had never sought, dreamed of, desired or even considered.

“We were perfectly happy at Springhill, but we just know that this is God’s call,” Qualls told The Pathway. “We know that the Lord’s will is always right, and that is what we desire in life.”

He said he doesn’t view the move to Jefferson City as leaving the pastorate.

“I have served as vice president and president of this convention, and I see this as a continuation, a broadening of that call.”

Qualls said he is excited about moving into a job where he can work with families.

“I really have a desire to do all we can to strengthen the families in Missouri. The Bible is very clear that God has three institutions — the family, government and the church. And the family was God’s first institution. The world needs to see the difference Jesus can make in a marriage,” Qualls said.

Clippard said the choice of Qualls wasn’t a snap decision.

“Every time I’ve been around him, I’ve been impressed by his golden walk with the Lord and not desiring to do anything that was not in step with the harmony of the Lord,” Clippard said. “And his credentials as a successful pastor are impressive. When you take a church out in the middle of the country from 50 to over 750 on Sunday morning, it speaks volumes for his teaching leadership and his people’s love for him.”

In addition, Clippard said Qualls’ MBC peers have demonstrated an incredible confidence in his ministry by electing him as president of the convention without opposition.

“Also,” Clippard continued, “Kenny’s evangelistic enthusiasm, his vision and his passion for Missouri Baptists is what convinced me that God wanted a person like this to be in a leadership position.”

Spannagel served on staff at Riverside where the late Rick Ferguson was pastor until an auto accident earlier this year.

“Roy has served in small churches and has been a director of missions,” Clippard said. “He served in Canada and has been on the state convention staff in Alaska, and now he’s the associate pastor at a megachurch. I think he will bring a lot of confidence to the people of Missouri with his wide range of experience. There’s a contagious spirit about him.”

Clippard said he expects Spannagel to be the point man for the MBC’s relationship with directors of missions.

“Having been a DOM, Roy knows their needs and understands their ministries,” Clippard said.

    About the Author

  • Bob Baysinger