December 16, 2002
JEFFERSON CITY — Kenny Qualls, pastor of Springhill Baptist Church, Springfield, and president of the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC), will step down from both positions to take a job on the staff of David Clippard, executive director of the MBC, The Pathway has learned.
Qualls, 39, resigned the pastorate at Springhill Dec. 15 where he has served the last 12 years. He will announce his resignation from the position of president in a letter to the Executive Board prior to taking the job in Jefferson City on Jan. 6.
Monte Shinkle, pastor of Concord Baptist Church, Jefferson City, will move up from the first vice-president position to fill out Qualls’ one-year term as president.
Qualls will fill the associate executive director/Church and Family Equipping job on Clippard’s staff.
Joining Qualls will be Roy Spannagel, who has been serving on the staff at Riverside Baptist Church, Denver. Spannagel will fill the associate executive director/missions and evangelism job.
Rounding out the Executive Director’s management team will be:
Larry Thomas, a 19-year veteran of the MBC staff, continuing as associate executive director-financial services;
David Waganer, a two-year MBC employee, continuing as associate executive director-communications and development.
The naming of the four members of the Executive Director’s management team is part of a restructuring of the MBC. Plans call for the New Directions system implemented by Jim Hill to be scraped. The restructuring, approved by the MBC Executive Board Dec. 10, will bring the convention’s ministries under the direction of the four associate executive directors who will report weekly to Clippard.
Up to 19 jobs will also be cut, reducing the convention’s workforce from 93 to around 75. The job cuts became necessary after Cooperative Program receipts for 2002 fell about 15 percent short of the budgeted goal. However, Clippard said Dec. 10 that the MBC would finish the fiscal year "in the black."
Qualls said the MBC job was something he had never sought, dreamed of, desired or even considered.
"We were perfectly happy at Springhill, but we just know that this is God’s call," Qualls told The Pathway. "We know that the Lord’s will is always right, and that is what we desire in life."
He said he doesn’t view the move to Jefferson City as leaving the pastorate.
"I have served as vice president and president of this convention, and I see this as a continuation, a broadening of that call."
Qualls said he is excited about moving into a job where he can work with families.
"I really have a desire to do all we can to strengthen the families in Missouri. The Bible is very clear that God has three institutions – the family, government and the church. And the family was God’s first institution. The world needs to see the difference Jesus can make in a marriage," Qualls said.
Clippard said the choice of Qualls wasn’t a snap decision.
"Every time I’ve been around him, I’ve been impressed by his golden walk with the Lord and not desiring to do anything that was not in step with the harmony of the Lord," Clippard explained. "And his credentials as a successful pastor are impressive. When you take a church out in the middle of the country from 50 to over 750 on Sunday morning, it speaks volumes for his teaching leadership and his people’s love for him."
In addition, Clippard said Qualls’ MBC peers have demonstrated an incredible confidence in his ministry by electing him as president of the convention without opposition.
"Also," Clippard continued, "Kenny’s evangelistic enthusiasm, his vision and his passion for Missouri Baptists is what convinced me that God wanted a person like this to be in a leadership position."
Spannagel served on staff at Riverside where Rick Ferguson was pastor until Ferguson was killed in an auto accident.
"Roy has served in small churches and has been a director of missions," Clippard said. "He served in Canada and has been on the state convention staff in Alaska, and now he’s the associate pastor at a megachurch. I think he will bring a lot of confidence to the people of Missouri with his wide range of experience. There’s a contagious spirit about him.
Clippard said he expects Spannagel to be the point man for the MBC’s relationship with directors of missions.
"Having been a DOM, Roy knows their needs and understands their ministries," Clippard said.