News Articles

SBC DIGEST: Tom Elliff weds Diana Barber; LifeWay adds 4 stores; Carol Pipes is evangelical association’s pres.-elect

Tom Elliff weds Diana Barber

FORT WORTH, Texas (BP) — Tom Elliff, former president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board, married Diana Barber on the campus of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary on June 2.

The wedding was performed by their six sons and sons-in-law. Both Elliff and Barber each were married nearly 50 years to spouses who now reside in heaven.

Barber’s husband, Wayne Barber, was pastor of Woodland Park Baptist Church in Chattanooga, Tenn., and served as the lead men’s teacher for Precept Ministries International. He died on Aug. 29, 2016,

Elliff’s wife, Jeannine Thomas Elliff, died on July 20, 2015, after a long struggle with cancer. She served as Elliff’s helpmate in his roles as pastor in Arkansas, Texas, Colorado and Oklahoma; missionary in Zimbabwe; senior vice president and then president of IMB; and two terms as president of the SBC.

Elliff stated, “Jeannie and I first met Diana and Wayne over dinner 33 years ago in Salzburg, Austria. Though our paths crossed only occasionally in the ensuing years, last December God brought [Diana and me] together through a remarkable set of events only He could have orchestrated.”

The Elliffs will reside in Oklahoma City and minister through their local church and the Living in the Word ministry, but they will also be in Conroe, Texas, for an undetermined time while Elliff is interim pastor of Mims Baptist Church. Together, the Elliffs share six children, 33 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren living and ministering in Oklahoma, Alabama, New Mexico, Texas and Hawaii.


LifeWay Christian Stores add 4 new locations

NASHVILLE (BP) — LifeWay Christian Stores is opening four new stores in four states today (June 5).

The new stores are located in Boise, Idaho; Fort Wayne, Ind.; Sterling Heights, Mich.; and Mentor, Ohio. This will mark LifeWay’s first store presence in Michigan and Idaho. Each of the new stores is located where a Family Christian Store previously operated until the retail chain closed earlier this year.

LifeWay Christian Stores, in operation for more than 90 years, is the largest Christian bookstore chain in the U.S. with 174 stores in 31 states.

LifeWay Christian Stores will celebrate its new locations with grand openings June 30 – July 8 with special offers and discounts along with giveaways, activities for families, refreshments and more.

Cossy Pachares, vice president of LifeWay Christian Stores, “Our hope and prayer is that people and churches will give us an opportunity to serve them. We have store employees who are trained to help. We match the prices of any online or brick-and-mortar store. And because we are a nonprofit ministry, when people support their local store, it enables more people to be reached with the Gospel and for us to remain in the communities.”

Pachares added, “Many people don’t realize LifeWay already has stores in 141 of the previous Family Christian Store communities.” To get to know previous Family customers better, LifeWay is offering special discounts and allowing customers to “trade in” an unused Family gift card for $20 off their first purchase in any LifeWay Store until the end of July.

LifeWay Christian Stores are owned and operated by the Southern Baptist entity LifeWay Christian Resources, with headquarters in Nashville. The nonprofit publishing and retail company is known for publishing best-selling author Beth Moore, the Christian Standard Bible translation and other widely used resources.

LifeWay Christian Stores, Pachares said, “come alongside individuals, families and churches as they seek to know and serve God by providing biblical solutions that spiritually transform lives and communities,” including Bibles, books, reference tools, children’s products, Christian music, church supplies, movies and gifts.


Carol Pipes tapped as press association’s president-elect

NASHVILLE (BP) — Carol Pipes, director of communications at LifeWay Christian Resources, is the new president-elect of the Evangelical Press Association.

EPA is a professional organization of Christian publications and websites. 

Pipes, who was serving as secretary of the board, was elected president-elect during EPA’s annual business meeting at its Chicago convention on April 11. She will move into the role of board president in two years following EPA’s current president, Eric Thomsen, managing editor of ONE Magazine, a denominational magazine for the National Association of Free Will Baptists.

Pipes joined LifeWay in 2012 as manager of editorial services and editor of Facts & Trends. Previously, she served as team leader of content development at the North American Mission Board and editor of On Mission magazine.

She is a native of Tennessee and a graduate from the University of Memphis with a degree in journalism. She and her husband, Keith, are members of Friendship Community Church in Mount Juliet, Tenn., where Keith serves as director of worship ministries.