NIXA – Jims Wells, director of missions for Tri-County Baptist Association and registration secretary for the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), is joining the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) Executive Board Staff. He will serve as the Cooperative Program State Missionary/ Strategic Partnerships.
His last day at Tri-County is May 31, and his first day with the MBC is June 1.
The new job is to serve as liaison with directors of missions (DOMs), oversee On Mission Celebrations (OMC), work with DOMs in partner conventions, act as the executive director’s designee with MBC entities and the Missouri National Guard Partners in Care program. He will also oversee MBC ministries that have to do with chaplaincy.
Wells said a main focus is strengthening relationships among the MBC and DOMs across the state.
“They are the largest statewide network,” Wells said. “The state convention and association are partners in helping churches fulfill the Great Commission. A part of that is strengthening the relationship between the state and associations. When churches and associations are strong, the state convention will be strong.”
John Yeats, MBC executive director, has known Wells for 15 years, and has served with him on the SBC level where Yeats is recording secretary. He said he hopes Wells’ experience will foster a greater relationship with the DOMs
“This position is about network, network, network,” Yeats told the MBC Board during their meeting April 10 as he introduced his friend. “The DOMs know our churches, they love their pastors and they are our strategic partners. We need Jim Wells. He has a great reputation among his colleagues and I can’t think of a brother better equipped to work with DOMs than one of them who knows how they think.”
“The more we understand that we are interconnected as partners, the stronger our work will become,” Wells said.
Another of those partnerships to be strengthened is that between the MBC and its entities: Hannibal-LaGrange University, Southwest Baptist University and the Missouri Baptist Children’s Home. Yeats said Wells will help him represent the Cooperative Program at those trustees meetings.
“Jim and his wife, Judy, are a wonderful Christian couple and they bring the very best of Missouri Baptist life into our team,” Yeats said.
Since he is joining the MBC staff, Wells resigned his seat on the MBC Executive Board during the April 10 meeting. He has served there since 2006. He has served the churches in Christian, Taney and Stone Counties for nearly 12 years. Before that he pastored Oakwood Baptist Church in Kansas City for 16 years. He first won election as SBC registration secretary in 2002, and plans to run for an 11th term this June in New Orleans.
When Yeats came to the MBC last fall, it brought two of the SBC officers into the same state. Now they will have offices 20 paces apart. This is not the first time two of the five SBC officers have been from the same organization. Martin Bradley served as recording secretary and Lee Porter as registration secretary while both worked for the former Sunday School Board in the 1980s and ’90s. Officers from the same state – especially Tennessee – were more common before the rise of the Internet made it easier to conduct SBC business from afar.