Mercer calls 27-year career with MBC a ‘wonderful journey’
By Allen Palmeri
December 9, 2004
JEFFERSON CITY – Ken Mercer, 65, who began working in the Baptist Building during the first year of Jimmy Carter’s presidency, is retiring in December after 27 years of service.
Mercer served four Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) executive directors in several capacities from 1977-2004, ranging from church administration to media to church growth. Around 1995, he settled into a role as a consultant for the Bible Study team. He will retire as Adult/Discipleship Specialist on the Sunday School/Discipleship Team.
“These last years have really been the critical years of my ministry where I’ve been able to sit down with pastors and Sunday School leadership and spend time with them, do consultations with them, and then come back and see them change,” Mercer said.
In 1985, Mercer became the first director of the newly created MBC media department. It was one of several times over the years when Mercer was able to use his spiritual gift of administration.
The Bastrop, La., native made a commitment to full-time Christian service 50 years ago at a Royal Ambassadors Congress.
“Through the years, I kept saying I’d like to do something where I could be free to work with churches and not have to worry about income,” he said. “So when I had the opportunity to join this staff, it gave me that goal.”
Mercer has been through a lot of changes in Missouri Baptist life under executive directors Rheubin L. South, Don Wideman, Jim Hill and David Clippard.
“Folks who used to work hand-in-hand now are on opposite sides,” Mercer said. “That’s sad. It’s just like a family breaking up. I’m just hoping that somewhere down the line we can get all of the distractions behind us and then give full, 100-percent effort to doing the Great Commission.”
He and his wife of 44 years, Vicki, plan on visiting their two grown daughters and two grandchildren as they travel in retirement.
“It has been a wonderful journey,” Mercer said. “I would do it again in a minute.”