NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Trustees of LifeWay Christian Resources Feb. 7 unanimously approved the recommendation of Tom Hellams to be vice president and executive associate to LifeWay’s president.
Hellams, 48, will assist and report to Thom S. Rainer, who succeeded James T. Draper Jr. as president Feb. 1.
Hellams is leaving a similar position at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, where since 1997 he worked with President R. Albert Mohler Jr. and where he and Rainer became friends during their eight years of service together. Rainer was dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Church Growth. Hellams is filling a newly created position at LifeWay.
“Tom Hellams is a tremendous Christian servant and a man of great executive ability,” Mohler said. “He is a highly gifted administrator. All this is combined with a pastoral heart and a genuine sense of calling to the local church. Tom made a great contribution to Southern Seminary during his years with us, and he touched virtually every corner of this campus. I know he will serve Thom Rainer and LifeWay with the same combination of heart and mind that made such a difference among us.”
As LifeWay’s executive associate, Hellams primarily will be responsible for leadership in the president’s office and will serve as coordinating chief of staff of the executive management team. He also will take on many of the external responsibilities of the president’s office, representing LifeWay to Southern Baptists and others beyond the SBC.
While at Southern Seminary, Hellams often served as a representative of the president at various SBC functions and SBC Executive Committee meetings.
“Having Tom here ensures that the president’s office maintains priority relationships with state conventions and associations,” Rainer said.
In his testimony to trustees, Hellams said that God granted him the gift of administration. He expressed that his expertise is complementary to Rainer’s: “Thom is a visionary; I am very detail oriented.”
“Tom Hellams is one of the most respected leaders in our denomination,” Rainer said. “His leadership in the president’s office at Southern Seminary has been marked by integrity, efficiency and great accomplishments.”
Hellams earned his bachelor of arts in church music from Erskine College, and master of arts and master of divinity degrees from Southern Seminary, focusing on church and denominational administration. He completed a doctor of ministry in leadership and church consultation, also at Southern.
Hellams has served as interim minister of music for three churches in Louisville: Valley Station Baptist Church, Shively Baptist Church and Carlisle Avenue Baptist Church.
Prior to joining Southern Seminary’s staff, Hellams was minister of music and executive pastor at Carlisle Avenue Baptist Church, (1994-97); minister of music and youth education, Calvary Baptist Church, Williamston, S.C. (1984-94); minister of music and youth, Second Baptist Church, Belton, S.C. (1977-79); minister of music, Homeland Park Baptist Church, Anderson, S.C. (1977-79); and summer youth director, First Baptist Church, Fountain Inn, S.C. (1976).
Hellams was born in 1957 in Greenville, S.C. and made a profession of faith in 1968, being led to Christ by his mother. He married Tena Ellen Locke of Taylors, S.C., in 1979. The couple has two children, Katie Ellen (21) and John Thomas III (16).
Hellams was ordained to the Gospel ministry in 2000 at First Baptist Church in Fountain Inn, S.C. and is currently a member at Shively Baptist Church in Louisville, Ky.