Editor John Pierce (left) recognized Ann Roebuck as director emerita of Baptists Today/Nurturing Faith during a dinner event in September at First Baptist Church of Rome, Ga. Her husband, Floyd Roebuck (right) was a longtime pastor for the church and other congregations in the area. Ann, a lay leader and past chairperson, is the seventh former director to receive such honor.

Editor John Pierce (left) recognized Ann Roebuck as director emerita of Baptists Today/Nurturing Faith during a dinner event in September at First Baptist Church of Rome, Ga. Her husband, Floyd Roebuck (right) was a longtime pastor for the church and other congregations in the area. Ann, a lay leader and past chairperson, is the seventh former director to receive such honor.

ROME, Ga. — The Board of Directors of Baptists Today/Nurturing Faith began their mid-September meeting by remembering longtime director James Dunn of Winston-Salem, N.C., who died July 4. Following testimonies of Dunn’s influence, his fellow directors wrote notes of appreciation and concern that were delivered by director Charlotte Cook Smith to his wife Marilyn.

During business sessions held at Berry College the Board elected leadership, heard updates on the expanding publishing ministry, addressed financial needs and approved creating an envisioning committee to help chart the future.

Elected as new directors are Nannette Avery of Signal Mountain, Tenn., Kelly Belcher of Asheville, N.C., Wayne Glasgow of Macon, Ga., and Bill Ireland of Dalton, Ga.

The board re-elected Chairman Don Brewer of Gainesville, Ga., and Vice Chair Cathy Turner of Clemson, S.C., along with Jack Glasgow of Zebulon, N.C., who chairs the development/marketing committee. Edwin Boland of Johns Creek, Ga., now chairs the budget/finance committee.

At the closing session, held at the Winshape Retreat Center on Berry’s mountain campus, outgoing directors Charles Schaible of Macon, Ga., and Vickie Willis of Murfreesboro, Tenn., were recognized for their service as well as Mary Jane Cardwell of Waycross, Ga., who could not attend the meeting.

Directors heard and discussed reports regarding budgeting and fundraising — and explored ways to reduce costs while increasing revenues. Commitments from directors to give more personally and to help seek new donors arose from the discussions.

Baptists Today/Nurturing Faith directors began their two-day meeting in Rome, Ga., with a luncheon at the childhood home of Martha Berry who in the early 20th century provided educational and worship opportunities for mountain families in northwest Georgia. The stately house and gardens are familiar to many from the 2002 movie Sweet Home Alabama.

Baptists Today/Nurturing Faith directors began their two-day meeting in Rome, Ga., with a luncheon at the childhood home of Martha Berry who in the early 20th century provided educational and worship opportunities for mountain families in northwest Georgia. The stately house and gardens are familiar to many from the 2002 movie Sweet Home Alabama.

Director Jack Glasgow made related motions, approved unanimously, that called for the Board to “affirm and pledge its active and immediate support for the capital campaign,” that asked for clear communication of the financial needs to readership, and that created an ad hoc committee to envision the future of Baptists Today/Nurturing Faith.

Those serving on the envisioning committee, appointed after the meeting by Chairman Don Brewer, are: Bill Neal, Kathy Richardson, Kelly Belcher, Frank Granger, Bill Ireland and Roger Paynter. The committee is exploring new ways to reduce costs, increase revenues and address future audiences.

A dinner event was held at First Baptist Church of Rome, Ga., featuring a musical interview with Stan Pethel conducted by Kathy Richardson (Story on page 4). Director Bob Cates, a member of the congregation, spoke to his fellow directors and friends at the dinner.

“The quality of the work at Baptists Today is remarkable,” he said, urging support. “We are a voice that’s reasonable and good.”

Ann Roebuck, a longtime resident of Rome and influential lay leader, was recognized as director emerita for her instrumental service as chair of the Baptists Today board many years ago as the news journal was transitioning from coverage of a denominational crisis to serving a larger Baptist movement.

In appreciation she responded: “This was an unexpected honor. Thanks for remembering. I look forward to Baptists Today every month and read every word. I am never disappointed. I really consider Baptists Today a miracle in print. Thank God for the miracle.” BT

By John Pierce • Photos By Scott Willis