Former Ohio Baptist editor Will Pollard dies
COLUMBUS, Ohio (BP) — Will Pollard, former editor of the Ohio Baptist Messenger who served 26 years with the state convention, died Feb. 4 in Circleville, Ohio, after a brief illness. He was 77.
He had retired in 2004, having led the paper the previous 10 years.
Pollard and his wife Peggy moved to Ohio in 1967 when he was called as pastor of Main Street Baptist Church in Wadsworth. It was the oldest Southern Baptist church in the state north of the Dayton area, having been organized in 1949, but had declined to about 28 on Sundays. Under Pollard’s leadership, the congregation changed its name to Ridgewood Baptist Church, relocated and built new facilities and experienced a high attendance of 179. Pollard also served as moderator of the Summit Baptist Association while in Wadsworth and as a member of the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio executive board’s finance and discipleship training/church music committees.
Pollard attended seminary before the Greater Dayton Association of Baptists called him as director of education and promotion, a position he held from 1976-78.
He joined the staff of the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio in 1978 as associate director of the Sunday School and church architecture department; in 1989 he became director of a separate Sunday School department; and in 1994 he was named editor of the Ohio Baptist Messenger and media/men’s ministry leader. In 2002 the focus of his duties became the Messenger and helping churches with media resources.
Jack Kwok, SCBO executive director, noted in a tribute to Pollard on the convention’s website, “As editor, Will reported news and provided information to Ohio Southern Baptists in a godly and gracious manner. He never stooped to acrimony nor did he allow demeaning presentations in the Ohio Baptist Messenger.
“Will was a very effective preacher,” Kwok also wrote. “Many have shared testimonies of their conversions and call to ministry during Sunday services and/or revival services when Will was preaching. He counted it a great joy that he has had the privilege of preaching in more than 300 of the 650 congregations affiliated the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio.
“Will’s record of ministry and service truly qualified him to be a ‘Mr. Ohio Southern Baptist.’ Praise the Lord for Will Pollard.”
Among Pollard’s accomplishments in serving Ohio Baptists: The SCBO Sunday School Convention reached an all-time high attendance of 1,100; the Vacation Bible School worker-training event marked a record 1,945 trainees; a “Grow Ohio” campaign for evangelistic Sunday Schools helped foster a 14 percent increase in baptisms from 1987-88; the SCBO Temporary Emergency Child Care Ministry was organized in 1995 and the Ohio Disaster Relief chain saw unit was organized in 2001.
He served on various committees of the Association of State Baptist Publications and earlier was vice president of the Southern Baptist Sunday School Directors Fellowship. He also led Sunday School growth campaigns in seven other states.
Pollard, who was living in Circleville, Ohio, was a native of Moark, Ark., who had led churches in Texas and Missouri before moving to Ohio.
Survivors including his wife Peggy; a son, Boyd; and three grandchildren.
The funeral was held Feb. 9 at Dublin Baptist Church in the greater Columbus area. Memorial contributions may be made to Stow Mission, 888 Parsons Ave., Columbus OH 43206.
WMU welcomes new staff; Patterson to lead New Hope & WorldCrafts
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (BP) — Amy Boone and Lena Plunk have joined the staff of national WMU as ministry consultants on WMU’s adult resource team, while former controller Judy Patterson has moved to the leadership of New Hope Publishers and WorldCrafts.
Boone is responsible for providing development and direction to WMU’s adult missions organizations, including Women on Mission, Adults on Mission and myMISSION for collegiate and young women.
Plunk is responsible for coordinating Christian Women’s Job Corps (CWJC) and Christian Men’s Job Corps (CMJC) as well as connecting volunteers with missions opportunities, including hands-on missions trips through WMU’s Missionsfest, Familyfest and International Initiatives and the Pure Water, Pure Love ministry.
Boone served with the Lawrence County Board of Education in Mount Hope, Ala., the past two years, working with K–8 children of Native American ancestry in reading and math. She and her husband Mike served 14 years as missionaries with the International Mission Board in Mozambique and South Africa where she helped plant churches, train teachers, write curriculum and lead retreats and weekly Bible lessons, among other ministry opportunities.
Boone earned a master’s degree in religious education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and an undergraduate degree in music education from Samford University in Birmingham, Ala.
Plunk has served as CWJC program director and satellite coordinator since May 2013 for the Nashville location of CWJC of Middle Tennessee. She served with the North American Mission Board through the Baptist Convention of Pennsylvania/South Jersey from 2003–13 in various roles, including ministry evangelism consultant, church planting catalyst in multihousing and web evangelism/children’s missions and ministry consultant.
Plunk holds a master’s degree in social work from Temple University in Philadelphia and an undergraduate degree from Blue Mountain College in Mississippi.
Carol Causey, director for WMU’s missions resource center, noted, “Amy’s experience as a missionary and product of missions education will serve her well as she works with our adult organizations, while Lena brings experience in many areas of missions mobilization. Their roles will help us nurture our members as well as engage new opportunities for missions discipleship.”
Patterson, in assuming leadership of WMU’s product development center, is publisher for New Hope Publishers and director of WorldCrafts, responsible for directing daily operations and developing long-term vision and strategic business plans. New Hope is WMU’s general trade publishing imprint. WorldCrafts develops sustainable businesses among impoverished people, partnering with dozens of artisan groups in 25-plus countries to import handcrafted items. Many of the artisan groups are working to free women from human exploitation and sex trafficking.
For the past 10 years as WMU’s controller, Patterson handled contracts, royalties and financials as controller of WMU. She replaces Andrea Mullins, who retired in September after 27 years at WMU with the past 10 leading New Hope and WorldCrafts.
Patterson graduated from the University of Alabama in Birmingham with a degree in accounting. She is a certified public accountant with more than 30 years of experience working for both profit and nonprofit organizations prior to working with WMU.
“Judy has tremendous knowledge of the mission of both New Hope and WorldCrafts,” said Wanda S. Lee, executive director of national WMU. “Not only does she bring business expertise with her, she brings a heart and a love for what God is doing through these two divisions of WMU.”
National WMU (Woman’s Missionary Union) is Southern Baptist auxiliary and nonprofit organization based in Birmingham, offering an array of missions resources, including curriculum for age-level organizations in churches, volunteer opportunities, conferences, leadership training, books and more.