ROCHESTER, Minn. (BP)–A change in editors has been announced for The Minnesota-Wisconsin Baptist, newsjournal of the two-state Baptist convention.
Gomer Lesch, the paper’s editor the past two years and retired Baptist Sunday School Board director of public relations, resigned as editor after a Dec. 22 mini-stroke. While the stroke left him unable to speak for several hours, the symptoms have not recurred since, “but he has been advised by his physician to lighten his load,” reported William Tinsley, the convention’s executive director.
Lesch, based in Nashville, Tenn., is being replaced by David Williams, who worked as the paper’s editor in 1994 and is pastor of First Baptist Church, Flower Mound, Texas. Williams will continue in his Texas pastorate while editing the journal.
Lesch described his work in behalf of Minnesota-Wisconsin Baptists as “a delightful and meaningful experience.” After his medical treatment, he noted, “I feel better than I have felt in a long time, except for some loss of energy.”
Tinsley said Lesch had become “a devoted friend” to Minnesota- Wisconsin Baptists. “While developing a quality paper, Gomer has demonstrated professionalism, Christian dedication and statesmanship in every way,” Tinsley said. “His monthly reminders for deadlines and his witty proddings for stories will be deeply missed.”
Tinsley noted a communications study conducted for the convention last year concluded, “The state paper is doing an excellent job and should continue with its present form of presenting information to the people of MWBC.”
Williams, as editor in 1994, negotiated a joint publishing process with the Kentucky Western Recorder newsjournal which made Lesch’s long- distance editing possible, Tinsley said. Williams also was the Minnesota-Wisconsin convention’s evangelism/stewardship director in 1994.
Williams, 46, was church services director for the Denton (Texas) Baptist Association from 1988-94. He is a 1981 master of religion education graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas.
He also is a graduate of the University of Tennessee with a degree in journalism, serving as editor of the UT Daily Beacon and later being employed as a reporter for the Memphis Press-Scimitar for two years.