Gibbie McMillan retires as LBDR director
By Brian Blackwell/Baptist Message
ALEXANDRIA, La. (BP) – For the last 15 years, Gibbie McMillan has been the face of Louisiana Baptist Disaster Relief, serving on the frontlines of LBDR-led responses that helped rebuild homes and offered the hope found in Christ to thousands impacted by floods, hurricanes and tornadoes.
McMillan is set to retire Friday (April 30) as men’s ministry and disaster relief strategist for Louisiana Baptists. But he will continue to pursue his passion for disaster relief as the leader of a newly formed chainsaw team affiliated with Two Rivers Baptist Association.
“Working for Louisiana Baptists has been one of the most rewarding opportunities I have ever had,” McMillan said. “Being the hands and feet of Jesus enabled me to meet needs because of the generous giving of the churches of Louisiana. Our Georgia Barnett State Missions offering each year provided the funds needed for a quick response in times of disaster. Not every church in Louisiana is involved in disaster relief — but they can be when they support the Georgia Barnett State Missions offering.”
Stan Statham will succeed McMillan May 1. He currently serves as associational missions strategist for Baptist Associations of Southeast Louisiana, which includes Two Rivers and two other Baptist associations.
McMillan, a native of Kentwood, La., became a Christian when he was 20 years old. The death of a cousin prompted him to examine his own spiritual condition. Later, Steve Brown, who at the time was pastor of New Zion Baptist Church in Kentwood, shared the Gospel with him.
After his conversion, McMillan was discipled by Brown, who equipped him with the tools necessary to share his testimony with a Gospel message during a service six weeks later. McMillan, who before the start of the service asked God to confirm a call to ministry, issued an invitation at the end of his sermon and saw 14 people come forward to accept Christ.
Over the next 28 years, McMillan continued to see God move through pastorates in Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas and Texas, and for nearly three years as a prison chaplain with the Louisiana Department of Corrections. He also led the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention’s hurricane recovery ministry to churches and pastors after Hurricane Rita devastated portions of southeast Texas in 2005. As a member of the convention’s minister-church relations office, he coordinated recovery efforts and distribution of disaster relief funds in New Orleans and the surrounding area for the SBTC.
McMillan also has served Southern Baptists as a member of the SBC Executive Committee, a trustee of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and a trustee of the International Mission Board.
Contract signed for sale of Georgia Baptist Building
By Roger Alford/The Christian Index
DULUTH, Ga. (BP) – The Georgia Baptist Missions and Ministry Center is poised to be sold within the next year under a contract announced Monday (April 26), but “the true headquarters” for ministry in the state will remain unchanged.
“That’s because the true headquarters for Baptist work has always been and always will be our churches,” said Georgia Baptist Mission Board Executive Director Thomas Hammond.
The mission board’s Executive Committee hired one of the nation’s largest real estate brokers, JLL, to market the property late last year. The contract, which was signed last week, calls for the closing to be on or before April 14, 2022. In response to a query from Baptist Press, the Georgia Baptist Mission Board declined to disclose the amount of the sale price.
Hammond said the undisclosed buyer has already begun title work, a site survey, as well as engineering, environmental, and geotechnical studies on the property.
Hammond is leading an effort to right-size the mission board’s office space and has begun a search for a much smaller and less expensive property within a 10-mile radius of the current building.
“I am excited to share with you some very encouraging news,” Hammond said in a letter to the Executive Committee on Monday. “Two years ago at our annual meeting, I made a commitment to all Georgia Baptists to sell the Georgia Baptist Missions and Ministry Center on Sugarloaf Parkway. As of Thursday, April 22, the property is officially under contract.”
The sales process will begin with a 90-day inspection period, followed by several months of planning and zoning reviews for a proposed development that would be built on the property.
“As we prepare for our move, please know we have significant amounts of excess office furniture and related furnishings that we hope your churches can use,” Hammond said in the letter. “Please pass the word along to churches in your area and have anyone interested contact us at [email protected]. After receiving emails we will proceed with all related information on how to claim and pick up your desired items.”
Hammond said he and his staff still are searching for office space that will meet the needs of the mission board staff.
“The Lord has been so gracious to us in providing a buyer during such uncertain times in our world,” he said. “Please accept my deepest gratitude for your continued prayers and support as we seek to reach Georgia with the gospel and align our resources to this effort. Keep praying for us as we work with the buyer throughout the next 12 months and evaluate future office possibilities.”