Jay Stewart has been named director of the office of Cooperative Program and church financial resources at the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions.
“I was raised here in Alabama, and my whole life has been blessed by the work of Alabama Baptists and the Cooperative Program,” he said, noting that he studied at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and has served as a disaster relief volunteer over the years. The church he served as pastor for the past eight years, First Baptist Church Ashville, has been a strong supporter of giving through the CP for nearly a century.
“In terms of missions there’s almost nothing that rivals it, and I’m excited to play a part in that and see it increase in Alabama,” he said. “Alabama has always been the pacesetter in the Southern Baptist Convention for Cooperative Program giving, and I want to see that expand and grow.”
In his new role, which starts June 1, Stewart will be responsible for planning, organizing, supervising, managing, budgeting and evaluating the ministries and staff of the office. He will also lead the office in participating as a member of the SBOM’s missions mobilization ministry team. Jim Swedenburg was responsible for CP promotion previously and now serves as a consultant as he transitions toward retirement.
Rick Lance, SBOM executive director, said Stewart was mentored by Mike Jackson, SBOM associate executive director, and is a “front-chair kind of leader” who is well-connected with pastors.
Before Stewart served at FBC Ashville, he served as pastor of Dwight Baptist Church in Gadsden; as student/music minister at Center Hill Baptist Church in Loganville, Georgia; as minister of music and youth at White Springs Baptist Church in Rainbow City; and as minister of music at Calvary Baptist Church in Gadsden.
In addition to his master of divinity from New Orleans Seminary, he also earned a doctor of ministry from Luther Rice Seminary in Lithonia, Georgia.
Stewart said he’s excited about sharing the CP story.
“No one church can do all that needs to be done for the gospel, but when we pool our resources, God can do that,” he said.