OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (BP)–Ray E. Sanders, communications team leader and spokesman for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, was selected as the ninth editor of the Baptist Messenger by the BGCO board of directors during its Feb. 7 meeting.
Sanders was presented to the board following the recommendation of Anthony L. Jordan, executive director-treasurer of the BGCO. In addition to being executive editor of the Baptist Messenger, Sanders will retain his role as team leader for the convention’s communications team. Doing so will centralize the communications efforts of the BGCO.
Jordan said Sanders was chosen after “prayerful consideration and consultation with the executive and leadership team” and the “communications task force and convention leaders.”
“Ray is a visionary, highly skilled and a proven communicator,” Jordan said. “For the last seven years he has been the voice and face of the BGCO in the public arena. He is highly respected by the secular media and our Baptist family. He is an accomplished writer and understands all forms of media including the print media.”
Sanders, 42, has a background in journalism, corporate communications and public affairs. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in broadcast journalism and mass communications. Prior to graduation he was involved with the Oklahoma State Capitol Press Corps and served as a photojournalist, producing stories for local television network affiliates. He began his career in journalism as a news anchor for a National Public Radio affiliate.
Sanders’ career in communications led him to Washington, D.C., where he produced radio and television programming for national and local news outlets. While in Washington, he was selected from among his peers to work closely with the inaugural committee of President George H.W. Bush on the production of an official documentary commemorating the event.
Upon his return to Oklahoma, Sanders became editor of a financial news and information publication and led corporate communications for a financial institution.
Fulfilling a calling God had placed on his life, Ray then accepted a position with the state convention and shortly thereafter was ordained by Council Road Baptist Church in Bethany, Okla.
In addition to preaching in churches throughout the state, Sanders has led the Ethics and Religious Liberties Committee for Oklahoma and represented Oklahoma Baptists on a variety of social, political and moral issues, including Southern Baptists’ strong opposition to the expansion of gambling throughout Oklahoma. He has been quoted in the press on behalf of Oklahoma Baptists and his writings are published by media organizations. He was producer of the Falls Creek television broadcast and a variety of other BGCO communications ventures.
“Ray has proven himself as a skilled administrator and an outstanding mentor to those who serve beside him,” Jordan said. “He is a valued colleague to me and other team leaders. I believe Oklahoma Baptists and the convention will be well served by Ray Sanders as executive editor and team leader.”
Said Sanders: “The Baptist Messenger has been and continues to be the most significant communications tool for telling the story of Oklahoma and Southern Baptists. It is through the Baptist Messenger that the majority of Oklahoma Baptists learn of the impact they are having through the Cooperative Program as they support the most effective and efficient missions-sending organizations in the world.”
Sanders is a member of Council Road Baptist Church (Bethany, Okla.), where he and his wife, Stephanie, minister to young married adults. Together, they home school their six children.