By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector
BRENTWOOD – Kingsport pastor Roc Collins, immediate past president of the Tennessee Baptist Convention, has been named director of evangelism for the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board (TBMB).
Collins has been senior pastor of Indian Springs Baptist Church in Kingsport for the past 11 years. He informed his congregation Nov. 27 of his decision to join the TBMB staff in January.
In his new role, Collins will direct all efforts in achieving Objective 1 of the Five Objectives that Tennessee Baptist Convention messengers adopted as their long-range goal in 2014. Objective 1 is to see at least 50,000 Tennesseans saved, baptized, and set on the road to discipleship annually by 2024.
“Dr. Collins will be closely related to syncing the other strategic objectives to Objective 1 as he serves on our leadership team,” said Randy C. Davis, president and executive director of the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board.
Davis observed that Collins’ past experience as a vocational evangelist, years of effective leadership as a senior pastor in the local church, and years of respected denominational service as president of the TBC and chair of the (former) Executive Board qualifies him for the role. Messengers to the TBC annual meeting at the Summit in Sevierville in November voted to change the name from Executive Board to Tennessee Baptist Mission Board.
In addition, “his passion for seeing his home state saturated with the gospel, more than qualifies Roc for this important work,” Davis continued. “He brings energy and insight to the TBMB.”
Collins told the Baptist and Reflector that he is “excited to serve the Lord in this new field of ministry.”
He noted there are many people in Tennessee “who need to hear the good news of Jesus and His power to save their souls.”
Collins said it is imperative that Tennessee Baptists “have an urgency to reach the lost around us. It’s later than we think, but it’s not too late,” he stressed.
Collins is a graduate of Carson-Newman University, Jefferson City, and holds the master of divinity and doctor of philosophy degrees from New Orleans (La.) Baptist Theological Seminary.
In addition to Indian Springs, Collins has served as pastor of Briar Thicket Baptist Church in Bybee, Tenn.; First Baptist Church, Gate City, Va.; Memorial Baptist Church, Bogalusa, La.; Berwick Baptist Church, Liberty, Miss. He also served as staff evangelist of two churches in Mississippi and Louisiana.
In addition to his service on the Executive Board, Collins was president of the Tennessee Baptist Pastors Conference in 2008. He also was chairman of the Committee on Committees for the Southern Baptist Convention in 2014 and served on the SBC Committee on Nominations in 2009-10. He also has served as vice moderator/parliamentarian for Sullivan Baptist Association, based in Kingsport.
Collins and his wife, Jeralyn, have two sons, RO and Noah.
Collins plans to move to Middle Tennessee in May following his youngest son’s graduation from high school.