NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Ted Warren, executive vice president and chief operating officer of LifeWay Christian Resources, will retire Feb. 1 after 12 years with the Southern Baptist entity.
Warren, 58, joined LifeWay in 1994 as chief financial officer and vice president for the business services group, becoming executive vice president and COO in 1995.
Before coming to LifeWay, he worked for 22 years in the oil and gas industry, serving in the early 1990s as president of Grace Drilling Co. and, prior to that, as executive vice president of Texas Oil & Gas Production Company.
“Ted leaves a legacy of stewardship at LifeWay,” said James T. Draper Jr., president and chief executive officer, who also retires Feb. 1. “His passion is ministry, and his crowning achievement at LifeWay has been to ensure the wise investment of all the resources God has entrusted to us. LifeWay is a stronger company today because of Ted, and well positioned for its finest days, which still lie ahead.”
Draper credited Warren with bringing strong fiscal responsibility to LifeWay while overseeing substantial worldwide ministry growth. Under his leadership, Warren led LifeWay from an operating loss of $8.2 million in 1994 to an operating income of $5.6 million in 1995. LifeWay’s annual revenues grew from $232.8 million in 1994 to a record $432.7 million in 2005. At the same time, LifeWay has launched significant new ministries, including LifeWay International, which trains leaders in more than 60 countries and coordinates LifeWay’s employee-led mission trips. Warren participated in many such mission trips, returning in October from Tanzania where more than 4,000 professed faith in Christ.
He also found innovative ways to reinvest LifeWay revenues in other Southern Baptist ministries, Draper noted. Last year, for example, Warren led LifeWay’s effort to invest more than $1.6 million in 13 Baptist state conventions and one association to fund evangelism projects aimed at helping the Southern Baptist Convention baptize 1 million new Christians during the 2005-06 church year.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity God has given me to serve alongside Jimmy Draper ever since he asked me to join him at LifeWay nearly 12 years ago,” Warren said. “It has been a marvelous journey. I have seen God’s hand on Jimmy and on LifeWay. And as we both look toward retirement, I share with Jimmy a deep sense of satisfaction in knowing that God allowed us to be a part of this great ministry.”
Warren added, “Even though I’m retiring from LifeWay, I look forward to future opportunities in ministry as well as in business consulting.”
LifeWay’s President-elect Thom Rainer, who will become president and CEO upon Draper’s retirement Feb. 1, will become responsible for all of the company’s executive and operational leadership.