Hinkle to be named editor emeritus, will focus on MBC’s public policy efforts
JEFFERSON CITY – The Pathway’s founding editor, Don Hinkle, has announced that, effective on Jan. 1, 2023, he will step aside from the Baptist state newspaper to focus entirely on his role as the Missouri Baptist Convention’s (MBC) public policy advisor. He will hold the title of editor emeritus at the newspaper. (Read Hinkle’s thoughts about this transition in his latest editorial here.)
This year marks the 20th anniversary of The Pathway and of Hinkle’s tenure as editor. For several years now, Hinkle has served dual roles – being both the newspaper’s editor and the public policy advisor for the MBC. He announced his departure from the newspaper, Aug. 30, while speaking to MBC executive board members gathered at the Baptist building here.
“It has been a privilege to serve as editor of your state newspaper,” Hinkle told executive board members. “It doesn’t belong to me. It doesn’t belong to anyone here in this building. It belongs to you. It belongs to the churches of the Missouri Baptist Convention. And I want to thank you for the privilege and the opportunity to answer God’s call. …
“And after 20 years now, I can tell you that God is at work in Missouri. He has done a marvelous thing in bringing unity and growth to the Missouri Baptist Convention, and I’m so thankful I’ve had the opportunity to document it as editor of The Pathway. … I’m not sad because it’s over. I’m glad that it happened.”
During Hinkle’s tenure, The Pathway has become the fourth largest paid circulation newspaper in Missouri, and its print and online editions have won numerous professional awards through the years.
An Air Force veteran, Hinkle has been a reporter for The Daily Press in Newport News, Va., The Tennessean in Nashville, The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Ky., and was editor of The Daily Herald in Columbia, Tenn. He earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Christopher Newport University, Newport News, Va., and master’s degrees in Christian education and theology from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a graduate of the WORLD Journalism Institute and is a fellow at the Colson Center for Christian Worldview.
Hinkle also announced that Benjamin Hawkins, who currently serves as associate editor of The Pathway, will take up the mantle as acting editor of the newspaper in 2023.
“When I hired Dr. Benjamin Hawkins several years ago, I had in mind and I felt the Lord telling me, ‘Don, get this young man ready. The kingdom work must go on, and the day will come when you will have to pass the baton to another generation.’ And it is with great joy that I do that. So you should have great confidence in Dr. Hawkins as he takes over as acting editor of The Pathway, effective Jan. 1.”
Hawkins has served as Pathway associate editor since 2013, prior to which he served as senior writer in the communications office at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has also contributed to other publications, including Baptist Press, Focus on the Family Magazine, and Focus on the Family’s Daily Citizen (formerly, Citizen Magazine). After earning his bachelor’s degree in communications from Southwestern Oklahoma State University, Hawkins completed master’s and doctoral degrees in theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.