Smyrna Baptist Church in Chapel Hill has called Mark Smith as pastor. He began serving April 4. He and his wife Toni last served at First Baptist Church, Dexter, Mo.
Last year lightning struck Roe Junction Baptist Church, Morristown, and it burned to the ground. Disaster relief volunteers assisted in the demolition and hauled away debris, according to Wes Jones, disaster relief specialist for the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board. This summer, Builders for Christ, a national organization will help rebuild the church and they are looking for construction volunteers to assist, Jones said. For more information, contact Greg Womack of Builders for Christ at 205-837-9454 or Joe Halbrooks at 205-907-8423.
Carson-Newman University’s Spring Commencement ceremonies will take place May 7 at the Gatlinburg Convention Center.
Paul Chitwood, president of the Southern Baptist International Mission Board, will address students during the 10 a.m. undergraduate ceremony and the 4 p.m. graduate ceremony. Chitwood was elected president of the IMB, a missionary society of the Southern Baptist Convention, in November 2018. He previously had served as executive director of the Kentucky Baptist Convention since 2011. Carson-Newman has put into place several requirements for the event to meet COVID-19 guidelines, including requiring face coverings, temperature checks upon entry and social distancing. Graduates will receive a limited number of tickets for guests to ensure social distancing between family groups. Those unable to attend will be able to view the ceremony on the University’s livestream at: www.cn.edu/live.
Samuel Neill Wagner Sr., 63, of Elizabethton, died March 23. Wagner was a longtime minister of music in Tennessee, having served in the following churches: Siam Baptist Church, Elizabethton; Unaka Avenue Baptist Church, Johnson City; First Baptist Church, Mountain City, Madison Avenue Baptist Church, Maryville, where he served for 29 years; and Oak Street Baptist Church, Elizabethton, for one year prior to his illness. He was a member of Oak Street Baptist. He also was a faithful member of the Tennessee Men’s Chorale. Wagner is survived by his wife of 40 years, Kelly Childers Wagner, three children and a grandchild.