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Seth Brown to lead N.C. Baptist newsjournal

CARY, N.C. (BP) — The Biblical Recorder’s board of directors has elected Seth Brown to lead North Carolina Baptists’ newsjournal following the retirement of current editor-president Allan Blume. Brown is currently the organization’s content editor.

Gerald Hodges, chairman of the search committee, presented Brown, 33, as the committee’s candidate in the board’s semiannual meeting Monday (March 25).

“Early in our conversations with Seth we were very impressed with his passion for the ministry of the Biblical Recorder, his perspective of the current landscape of Baptist journalism, as well as his wisdom and insights concerning changes and innovations that are needed for the Biblical Recorder to move ahead,” Hodges said.

Hodges said the search committee also expressed appreciation for Brown’s spiritual maturity, noting, “There was a clear consensus within our committee that Seth is the man to take the helm as the leader of the Biblical Recorder. He has a passion to see the Recorder not just survive, but thrive in the mission and ministry it has provided since 1833.”

Before joining the Recorder’s staff in 2015, Brown was a writer and researcher for Docent Research Group, which provides churches with resources and research, and he owned a graphic design business.

Blume announced his retirement, effective May 31, during last October’s board of directors’ meeting. Brown will assume the lead role June 1. The Biblical Recorder publishes a biweekly print edition and is online.

“Southern Baptist news outlets are important,” Brown told the search committee. “They play a vital role in Southern Baptist life by providing reliable information — something that is essential to our cooperative effort. We live in an era of #FakeNews, and confidence in media is low. In that context, the Biblical Recorder has made trust a key value. We promote truth and clarity. Our goal is to be a light shining in darkness.”

Brown was honored as the top newswriter by the Baptist Communicators Association in 2018, receiving the Frank Burkhalter Award for a series of reports from Bangkok, Thailand, titled “Little Lahore.”

He holds a master of arts degree in Christian studies from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C., and an undergraduate degree in religion from William Carey University in Hattiesburg, Miss.

Brown serves on the pastoral leadership team at Imago Dei Church in Raleigh. He and his wife Lauren are natives of Mississippi.

In a statement to the Recorder, Danny Akin, president of Southeastern Seminary, said, “I believe North Carolina has the finest state paper in the Southern Baptist Convention. Under the leadership of Allan Blume, it has achieved a reputation for journalistic excellence second to none.

“With Allan’s retirement, I am excited that the Biblical Recorder will now be led by Seth Brown,” Akin said. “What a superb choice! I believe he will provide the same outstanding leadership we have come to expect in the BR. I see continued bright days on the horizon for North Carolina Baptists under Seth’s direction.”

Milton A. Hollifield Jr., executive director-treasurer of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, said he values the Recorder’s mission to keep “North Carolina Baptists and others informed about missions and ministry endeavors taking place in North Carolina, across the country and around the world.”

“During his tenure as editor, Allan Blume has raised the Recorder’s profile as a trusted news source through its quality printed edition while expanding its online presence,” Hollifield said in an email statement. “The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina enjoys its partnership with the Recorder, and we look forward to continuing our work together in advancing God’s Kingdom as Seth Brown leads the publication into the future.”

Nate Jones, chairman of the Recorder’s board of directors, noted “the unanimous vote of the board” for Brown and said it is “a great day when we elect someone to take the Recorder to the next level.”

Todd Unzicker, a former sports editor and journalist who now serves in pastoral leadership at The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, said in an email to the Recorder, “There has not been a more effective and honest investigative Baptist reporter the last several years than Seth Brown.

“In an age of ‘fake news’ and high levels of media distrust, Baptists can rest assured that Seth will present the full truth. He has earned great respect from his peers and approaches stories with pastoral care while diligently seeking the truth at all times…. [I]t is hard to find a more trustworthy person than Seth Brown.”