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Religion Professor Nominated to Head CBF Global Missions

Shorter College religion dean Rob Nash has been nominated as next Global Missions coordinator for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.

Announced Monday in a press release, Nash’s nomination by a seven-member search committee will be presented for approval to the CBF Coordinating Council June 21. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />
 
The son of Baptist missionaries in the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />Philippines, Nash has a Ph.D. in American Christianity from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky. He is dean of the school of religion and international studies at Shorter College, where he teaches in areas of American religion, church history and cross-cultural theology.
 
Search committee chairperson Tim Brendle, a retired pastor from Richmond, Va., said Nash “truly has a heart for missions and the capacity to express our shared missions calling in fresh and challenging ways. I believe he can kindle new excitement in our churches and among our field personnel.”
 
CBF Coordinator Daniel Vestal said Nash would “lead CBF global missions with vision and passion.”
 
“In our brief history, CBF has been blessed with outstanding leadership in global missions,” Vestal said. “Rob will lead in a way that builds on that past and also pioneers into the future. For me, his coming represents a wonderful gift of Providence. I am truly grateful.”
 
Nash, 47, lived 13 years in the Philippines where his parents served as Baptist missionaries. He has also studied in or made extended visits to more than 30 countries in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe and South America.
 Nash is author of An 8-Track Church in a CD World: The ModernChurch in a Postmodern World and co-authored The Bible in English Translation: An Essential Guide. He also contributed to an edited volume on cross-cultural ministry entitled Many Nations Under God: Ministering to Cultural Groups in America.
 
He also has been the focus of controversy at Shorter College. Fundamentalist/conservatives controlling the Georgia Baptist Convention have mentioned him as an example of “moderates” on the school’s religion faculty and sought assurances that the next person elected to the religion faculty would take the Bible literally.
 
Last year the Georgia Supreme Court ruled that Shorter’s board of trustees didn’t have the authority to sever ties with the state convention in 2002, meaning that the convention once again would elect the school’s trustees.
 
If elected, Nash would succeed Barbara Baldridge. She resigned last year, just 10 weeks after being elected as Global Missions Coordinator in February, citing unspecified personal reasons. Baldridge previously worked five years as co-coordinator of CBF missions with her husband, Gary, who retired at the end of 2004 to become a free-lance writer.
 
“I am humbled by the confidence that the search committee has placed in me as its nominee for this position and awed by the prospect of ministry alongside CBF’s field personnel and staff in the U.S. and around the world,” Nash said. “At the same time, I wait with eagerness to join the whole CBF family of churches, partners and individuals in shaping our calling to the world’s most marginalized and neglected people.”
 
CBF Global Missions currently has 164 field personnel serving among the most neglected around the world. 
 
Bob Allen is managing editor of EthicsDaily.com.
 
Previous related story:
CBF Missions Coordinator Resigns