Rick Lance (left), executive director of the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions, and Randy Covington, executive director of the Alaska Baptist Resource Network, sign an agreement to enter into a five-year partnership between the two conventions.
Photos by Doug Rogers

Alabama Baptists enter partnership with Alaska, create office of church health

In its first in-person meeting since February 2020, the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions met today (May 14) and approved a new five-year partnership with Alaska Baptists and approved a new office of church health and its director.

Randy Covington, executive director of the Alaska Baptist Resource Network, and Jae McKee, director of church planting and missions for ABRN, shared with the group via video.

“We are excited about the opportunity and to see what God is going to do,” Covington said. “Thank you so much for praying for Alaska, and we look forward to seeing you in this great state.”

McKee added that the partnership has already been a blessing, especially with Jamie Baldwin, who recently retired from Alabama Baptist work in Sunday School and discipleship, currently onsite assisting with a church relaunch effort in Alaska.

Covington signed the partnership agreement via video, while Rick Lance, Alabama’s State Board of Missions executive director, signed the agreement during the meeting held at First Baptist Church, Prattville.

Office of church health

SBOM trustees also approved a new office of church health and unanimously elected Rob Jackson as director effective immediately.

Lance explained, “We need someone to be the singular focus for church revitalization and church health. This role will work hand in hand with the office of leader care to develop healthy leaders in healthy churches.

“If we don’t have healthy leaders, we won’t have healthy churches. That office is sorely needed especially coming out of the pandemic.”

Jackson, a longtime pastor who originally studied to be a pharmacist, previously worked as a state missionary for Alabama as an associate in the office of evangelism.

Rob Jackson

“I want to see healthy churches become healthier and unhealthy churches to become healthy, so we might join hands in the power of the Spirit of God,” Jackson said. “This joining together … might be a spark that spreads over all of this country and the globe.”

Jackson and his wife, Tonya, are members of Eastern Shore Baptist Church, Daphne, but will be moving to the Montgomery/Prattville area soon.

Jackson is a native of Alabama, and a graduate of Samford University in Birmingham and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, where he earned a master’s degree and a doctor of philosophy.

He served in pastoral ministry for several years in Alabama and Kentucky and is a prolific writer. Jackson most recently served as vice president of church and community resources for Volunteers of America.

Other news

Those in attendance at the meeting also heard from Mark Tew, president of Judson College, and other entity and auxiliary leaders.

And Lance reviewed “Beyond 2020: One Mission Alabama,” a five-point missional initiative that includes spiritual renewal, making disciples, church health, calling out the called and biblical stewardship.

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