ATLANTA – Jim Smith, director of field ministries for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, has been named interim coordinator of global missions beginning July 1.
Smith will assume the interim role as Rob Nash, global missions coordinator for the past six years, joins the faculty of Mercer University’s McAfee School of Theology as associate dean on June 30.
“Jim Smith brings the experience in leadership that CBF Global Missions needs during this transition,” said Daniel Vestal, the Fellowship’s executive coordinator. “He is a person of impeccable integrity and deep spiritual maturity. He has been a tenured missionary as well as a capable administrator. We are blessed because of his willingness to serve as interim global missions Coordinator.”
Smith was among the first field personnel appointed by the Fellowship when he and his wife, Becky, were commissioned in 1993 as CBF liaisons to Europe based in Berlin, Germany. In 2000, they took on the role of Associate Coordinators for Missions Teams – Europe. In 2008 Smith was named director of field ministries. Becky Smith remains the Associate Coordinator for Missions Teams with responsibility for Europe and North Africa.
“I am honored to serve in this interim capacity,” Smith said. “Hopefully this will contribute to continuity for Global Missions. The work being done by faithful field personnel and competent staff is a blessing and needs to be continued.
“We will strive to be collaborative, creative and responsible servants in partnership with the global church as we work with and among the most neglected and those with the least access to the gospel,” he said.
A native of Martinsville, Va., Smith resigned as a representative to Eastern Europe from the Foreign Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) in 1992. The Smiths had served in Austria from 1981 to 1988, and prior to that appointment, Smith was a SBC journeyman in West Germany from 1976-1978.
Smith’s ministry experience also includes serving as campus minister at Spalding College in Louisville, Ky., part time youth minister at Woodland Baptist Church, Middletown, Ky., and youth minister at Fieldale Baptist Church in Virginia.
In addition to a bachelor’s degree from Averett College in Danville, Va., Smith earned a Master of Divinity degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., and studied German at Goethe Institute in Germany and the University of Connecticut.
“Global Missions remains our top priority,” said Colleen Burroughs, CBF moderator and vice president at Passport Inc. “I’m grateful Jim has agreed to serve in this capacity. It means the amazing work of our field personnel will continue without interruption. CBF’s missional response in the world is not structured to come to a halt while we put a coordinator in place. People are still poor, hungry and hurting, and we are still a fellowship of Baptists cooperating together to financially and prayerfully support the on-going work of our missionaries.”
CBF is a fellowship of Baptist Christians and churches who share a passion for the Great Commission and a commitment to Baptist principles of faith and practice. The Fellowship’s mission is to serve Christians and churches as they discover and fulfill their God-given mission.
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