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Veteran communicator Charles Willis taking early retirement from LifeWay

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Charles Willis, a veteran Baptist communicator, is taking early retirement June 1 from LifeWay Christian Resources after serving 34 years with the Southern Baptist publishing entity.

Willis, 55, took over the helm of Lifeway’s Communication Department on an interim basis Feb. 1 after another long-time communicator, Linda Lawson, retired from the director’s position.

“Charles is an outstanding communicator in writing, editing, planning and working with media representatives to tell the LifeWay story,” Lawson said. “In his 30-plus years in public relations, he has constantly learned new skills and applied them effectively in his role as a Christian communicator. He has set a high standard for others to follow.”

In addition to being interim director for LifeWay’s Communications Department, Willis also served as senior media relations manager for the corporation. He earned the title of senior in 1991 when he was given a Career of Excellence Award, an honor presented for outstanding service to the organization.

“Charles has served with distinction and with a devotion that is a pattern for us all to follow,” LifeWay President Jimmy Draper said. “His knowledge of our Southern Baptist environment and his long tenure in Nashville has made him a vital part of our ongoing ministry here and beyond. I wish him well in the years that are ahead and will miss his involvement in the ministry of LifeWay.”

Willis has held several positions in the field of communications since coming to LifeWay in 1968. As a senior media relations manager, he worked with reporters for print and broadcast news to help tell the story of LifeWay and its resources. He wrote for Baptist Press and Facts & Trends, LifeWay’s corporate publication for church staff.

He also helped editors of Baptist state papers learn the work of LifeWay.

“It has been my privilege to work with Charles Willis since I became editor of the Baptist New Mexican eight and a half years ago,” said John Loudat. “Through the years he has been a valued partner in keeping New Mexico Baptists informed of LifeWay happenings, and he has proven himself to be a thoroughly reliable source of information. I also consider him a dear friend, and I am sure that his byline will be sorely missed by the Baptists of our state.”

A native of Tennessee, he received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, with a major in journalism.
(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: CHARLES WILLIS.

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