By Connie D. Bushey
News Editor, Baptist and Reflector
BRENTWOOD — Mark Anderson, a long-time staff member of Tennessee Baptist Adult Homes, was unanimously elected president by the TBAH board on Dec. 8. He will begin serving Jan. 1. He follows Kenny Cooper who served TBAH in that role for 20 years. Cooper will retire Dec. 31.
Randy C. Davis, executive director of the Tennessee Baptist Convention, observed that Anderson has “a proven record of competent service with Tennessee Baptist Adult Homes. Personally, I’m looking forward to seeing great things accomplished while working with Mark in the years ahead,” Davis said.
Anderson has been director of disabilities ministry for 26 years. Formerly he was a social worker for the state of Tennessee serving at the Harold Jordan Center for five years; and social counselor for the state of Tennessee’s Department of Human Services. Anderson holds the master of education in nonprofit leadership from Belmont University, Nashville; the master of science in guidance and counseling from Tennessee State University, Nashville; and the bachelor of science in psychology from Belmont.
Pat Cummins of Knoxville was chair of the search committee for the president. He responded by e-mail that “We knew going in that we had a momentous task at hand in trying to replace Dr. Cooper. … We wanted to find someone who could step into his position and not miss a beat in leading this ministry to greater service.” Cummins is a member of Central Baptist Church, Fountain City, Knoxville.
In examining resumes, “we found Mark to have impeccable credentials, experience, and 26 years loyal service and compassion, to serve Adult Homes,” Cummins continued.
He added that “like Dr. Cooper, we felt Mark also had a servant’s approach to leadership of Adult Homes” and that Anderson viewed the role not as a job but “an opportunity to apply his skills and experience to serve the Lord in this ministry.”
Jeff Amonett, chair of the TBAH board and an administrator for a nursing and rehabilitation center in Monterey, observed that Anderson’s “years of experience and proven work performance with TBAH have made him a logical choice to carry on the ministry of TBAH. It was important to the board that we find an able leader that understood our mission and had the knowledge and vision needed to move the ministry into the future.” Amonett is a member of First Baptist Church, Byrdstown.
“We believe Mark Anderson will aptly serve to meet the needs of the many disabled and senior adults that Tennessee Baptists serve throughout the state,” Amonett said.
Cooper observed that Anderson has proven his “commitment” to the ministry and “has a heart and passion for the Adult Homes ministry” which will be vital to its future success in “Proclaiming Christ and Providing Care,” the TBAH motto.
“Mark has been a trusted colleague with whom I have had the privilege of serving for 20 years. I pray God’s blessings and guidance for him and for Tennessee Baptist Adult Homes,” Cooper added.
Anderson responded to the election by noting, “I am humbled by and grateful for the confidence being placed in me by the TBAH board of directors. While I must confess a bit of anxiety about the responsibility, I am also very excited for this opportunity to grow as I continue to answer God’s call on my life.
He added that he was blessed to be mentored by Cooper. “I realize that I have big shoes to fill, but also broad shoulders to stand on.
“I also know I am surrounded by a board of directors, group home managers, senior adult homes personnel, and central office staff who are committed to serving our Lord through ministry to the residents entrusted to our care. It’s going to be a great journey.”