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Will Hall to lead Louisiana’s Baptist Message

ALEXANDRIA, La. (BP) — By unanimous vote, trustees of the Baptist Message, newsjournal of the Louisiana Baptist Convention, elected Will Hall as editor of the state newspaper and digital media outlet.

David Hankins, executive director of the Louisiana Baptist Convention, also named Hall director of the office of public affairs for the state convention.

“I am extremely excited about the election of Will Hall as the editor of the Baptist Message and director of public affairs,” Hankins said. “Dr. Hall’s outstanding credentials, fruitful experience and Christian character will be a blessing to Louisiana Baptists as he leads us to communicate the message of Christ to our churches and our culture.”

“When we looked at the candidates,” said Baptist Message board chairman Tim Hisaw, pastor of First Baptist Church in Tioga, “Will rose to the top. The future of the Baptist Message looks bright with Will at the helm.”

Hall most recently was executive editor and director of operations for the Christian Examiner, helping launch the digital news service in October 2014.

He previously served 10 years as vice president for news services with the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee where he helped expand the reach and reputation of the SBC’s news service, Baptist Press, and developed strategic communications. He also was press representative for the SBC.

During his tenure, Baptist Press expanded its monthly readership footprint to about 5 million combined in hard copy and the Internet; launched a sports division and weekly Spanish version of Baptist Press; and increased its network of publishing partners.

“I am excited to have the opportunity to contribute to the strong legacy of journalism that defines the Baptist Message,” Hall said. “I also look forward to working with our government officials to promote public policies that reflect the values and interests of Louisiana Baptists.

“Catherine and I are delighted to be part of the Louisiana Baptist family,” he added.

Hall retired as a naval aviator in 1998 after having directed academic programs for leadership development at the U.S. Naval Academy as a university department chair equivalent. He also served as a politico-military planner with the Joint Staff at the Pentagon in the strategic plans and policies directorate, among other operational and staff assignments.

He holds a bachelor’s degree from the United States Naval Academy; master’s degrees from George Washington University and Harvard University; and a doctorate from Vanderbilt University where he completed research about the effects of executives’ advice-seeking behavior on strategic decision-making and the subsequent impact on organizational performance.

He and his wife Catherine have three sons.

Hall is the 2015 winner of the Bo Pilgrim Award for Christian service and workplace evangelism. The annual award, initiated by the American Bible Society in 2008, is named for Lonnie “Bo” Pilgrim, founder of Pilgrims’ Pride poultry producer.