News Articles

SBC DIGEST: Stephen Rummage to preach in view of call to Okla. City; Todd Deaton to rejoin S.C. Baptist Courier staff

Stephen Rummage to preach in view of call to Oklahoma City

OKLAHOMA CITY (BP) — Florida pastor Stephen Rummage is scheduled to preach in view of a call at Oklahoma City’s Quail Springs Baptist Church, where Hance Dilbeck served from 2003 until becoming executive director of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma in January 2018.

Rummage, 50, is senior pastor of the Tampa-area Bell Shoals Baptist Church in Brandon and immediate past president of the Florida Baptist State Convention.

Rummage will preach at Quail Springs’ three morning services on Sunday (Jan. 27).

“Over the past months, God has worked to prepare our hearts for this transition,” Rummage wrote in a letter accompanying information about him and his wife Michele posted at the Oklahoma City church’s qsbc.org website.

“As you can imagine, moving to Oklahoma represents a major change in our lives,” Rummage wrote of “saying goodbye to a fruitful ministry at our present church. Nevertheless, we are tremendously excited about what God has in store for Quail Springs and us.”

He noted that 2 Timothy 1:6 “has been instrumental in my life recently,” in which the apostle Paul writes, “I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you.” Rummage stated he and his wife “are convinced that Quail Springs is God’s chosen place for us to pursue the gifts and calling that God has placed on our lives for His glory.”

In addition to serving as the Florida convention’s president, Rummage was chairman of the SBC Executive Committee from 2016 until last year and is a member of the EC search committee seeking a successor to former EC President Frank Page, who left the position last year.

Rummage, a North Carolina native, was the SBC’s 2009-2010 second vice president, a member of the SBC Committee on Resolutions in 2015 and chairman of that committee in 2016. He is scheduled to preach the convention sermon at the 2019 SBC annual meeting in Birmingham, Ala. He served on the Executive Committee from 2006-2009 and returned to the EC in 2013.

In Florida, Rummage was the 2012 president of the state convention’s Pastors’ Conference.

Rummage became Bell Shoals’ pastor in 2009, previously serving as co-pastor of Hickory Grove Baptist Church in Charlotte, N.C., from 2004-2009 and as associate professor of preaching at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C., from 1997-2004 and director of its doctor of ministry program from 2001-2004.

He holds a Ph.D. in preaching from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Southeastern Seminary and an undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Rummage’s daily half-hour broadcast, Moving Forward, is aired on more than 120 radio stations and he is the author or coauthor of several books, including the “Christ-Centered Expository Commentary: Exalting Jesus in Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi” with Micah Fries and Robby Gallaty.

The Rummages have one son, Joshua, a pharmacy student at the University of South Florida.


Todd Deaton to rejoin S.C. Baptist Courier staff

GREENVILLE, S.C. (BP) — Todd Deaton has been named managing editor of The Baptist Courier, newsmagazine of the South Carolina Baptist Convention, effective March 1, moving from the editor’s post at the Western Recorder, newsjournal of the Kentucky Baptist Convention.

Deaton, 55, a South Carolina native who formerly served 13 years as The Courier’s managing editor, will succeed Butch Blume, a 20-year Courier employee who succeeded Deaton in 2009 when Deaton became the Western Recorder’s editor.

Blume, who will retire in April, has served South Carolina Baptists for more than three decades, including 14 years at Anderson College (now Anderson University) before joining The Courier’s staff.

“We are beyond delighted that Todd will again be joining The Courier family,” editor Rudy Gray said. “He is an accomplished Christian journalist, a successful editor and a South Carolina native who certainly knows South Carolina Baptists.

“As we sought a managing editor to replace Butch Blume, it became evident that God was leading us to Todd. As both of us prayed about this possibility, we recognized that God was at work in our hearts. It has been a smooth process characterized by unity, and we praise God for His guidance.”

Gray credited Blume for having played a key role at The Courier in producing the magazine and web content and with the Courier Publishing book-publishing arm.

Deaton said he and his wife Michelle “have sensed for some time that God has been loosening our Kentucky ties in preparing us for new challenges in ministry. Little did we ever dream that we would be returning to serve the Baptists of my home state and to work with The Baptist Courier again. It is, indeed, a rare blessing to come home again, and I’m delighted that God is providing us with this opportunity to begin our ministry there anew. My wife and I also are looking forward to renewing great friendships among South Carolina Baptists.”

Chip Hutcheson, chairman of the Western Recorder’s board of trustees and a former Kentucky convention president, said the board and the newspaper’s subscribers “are thankful for Todd’s 10 years of dedicated service to Kentucky Baptists. We appreciate his dedication to telling the stories about how the Lord has been working through Kentucky Baptists. And I appreciate his desire to build bridges rather than cause discord.”

Hutcheson, who recently retired as publisher of the Times Leader in Princeton, Ky., said the newspaper world has changed dramatically during Deaton’s tenure, noting that he had weathered those challenges well. “In recent times he has continued to edit the newspaper with a much smaller staff than when he arrived here, and has done so without complaint,” he said.

Deaton stated, “Ministering with the Western Recorder staff and trustees on behalf of Kentucky Baptists truly has been a highlight of my career in Baptist journalism. I will treasure the friendships made while serving among Kentucky Baptists.”

Deaton is a recent president of the Association of State Baptist Publications and longtime member of Baptist Communicators Association and has won numerous journalism honors, including five first-place editorial awards from the Kentucky Press Association.

Deaton holds a doctor of education degree from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C.; a master of divinity degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky.; and an undergraduate degree from Furman University in Greenville, S.C.

He and his wife, Michelle, have two children, Laura, a nurse in Louisville, and Caleb, an aviation major at Eastern Kentucky University.