Nashville Baptist Association
NASHVILLE — The Nashville Baptist Association recognized Rusty Sumrall’s 30 years of faithful service during its annual meeting on Sept. 25.
Sumrall stepped down as executive director, handing the reigns of the association to Michael Kelley.
Sumrall took his first position with the NBA as Church Development Director in 1993. In that time, he grew the Ska-Mo-Bow Youth lock-in, expanded the Disaster Relief and Missions programs, led 13 churches through a Refocus strategy process, and also served on the boards of both the Metro Association of Religious Education Directors and the Tennessee Baptist Christian Education Association.
He became the NBA’s executive director in 2005. Under his leadership, the NBA moved from a program-based organization to resourcing, networking and assisting churches and church leaders.
In addition to Association Mission Trips in those years, the NBA put together a book entitled Peoples of Nashville to encourage local missions. Sumrall established The Legacy Church Ministry for churches who must disband or join a stronger church, so their ministry can continue through the association.
“Some of the most rewarding parts of my ministry,” Sumrall said in his report, “have been coaching and mentoring pastors, training pastor search teams, calming church conflicts, assisting declining churches and guiding churches through strategy planning.”
During the meeting held at Grace Baptist Church, Nashville, Sumrall was presented with a fold-down desk, handmade by board member Steve Durham. Pastors and church leaders both past and present attended a reception after the meeting to show their appreciation.
“Thank you NBA board and Steve Durham for the gifts you presented to Becky and me at the annual meeting,” he wrote for the newsletter. “Thank you to all who came to the reception to honor my service of 30 years at the NBA.”
Rusty Sumrall will continue as lead coach/consultant for the Nashville Baptist Association until his retirement in March of 2023. B&R