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Terry Harper accepts call as W.Va. convention’s exec

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (BP)–The executive board of the West Virginia Convention of Southern Baptists voted unanimously Nov. 1 to extend a call to Terry Harper as the convention’s executive director/minister, effective Dec. 1.

The action, following a brief question-and-answer time with Harper, came during the session of the board immediately preceding the convention’s Nov. 2-3 annual meeting at Fairlawn Baptist Church in Parkersburg.

Harper has been the pastor of Colonial Heights Baptist Church, Colonial Heights, Va., since October 1984. Colonial Heights Baptist has led its association in baptisms and total church growth for the past five years. Attendance has grown from 160 to more than 900. A new $2 million worship center was completed in 1994. CHBC is a strong supporter of the Cooperative Program, the Lottie Moon and Annie Armstrong missions offerings, the Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia and the Southern Baptist Convention. Church receipts have grown from $132,000 to more than $1.2 million.

Harper was the 1996-98 president of the Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia and has served in various other roles in Southern Baptist life, including as a trustee of the International Mission Board and Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in California.

He was selected to be included in “The One Hundred Most Effective Pastors,” a book by Thom Rainer, dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Church Growth at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and was listed in Who’s Who in Religion, 1986 and 1992 editions.

Harper began pastoring in 1972 while a college student at Averett College in Danville, Va. After two years at White Rock Baptist Church, he served Exmore Baptist Church from 1974-76. Harper next served First Baptist Church of Alamance, N.C.; he left there in 1979 to pastor the Waverly (Va.) Baptist Church until he moved to Colonial Heights in 1984.

He earned an associate of science degree in business from Bluefield College, a bachelor of arts in psychology from Averett College and a master of divinity from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, N.C.

Harper and his wife, Cheryl, were married in 1974 and have three children, Derrick, 24, Carla, 17, and Alison, 15, all of whom still live at home.

In a personal statement, Harper indicated, “I believe the Bible to be the inerrant, infallible Word of God. I believe that every person is lost and bound for an eternity away from God until they are confronted with the Gospel and receive Jesus Christ as their Lord. It is our great responsibility to take the Gospel to those who have never heard or who have heard and not yet received Him. I have led the churches I have served to place a major emphasis in the areas of evangelism and missions. Therefore, by the grace of God, every church I have ever served has experienced growth. I believe that God wants every church to grow. I have a heart for other pastors, especially young men in the ministry. I feel one of the callings on my life is to be a mentor and encouragement to others in the ministry.”
(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: TERRY AND CHERYL HARPER.

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  • John W. Adams