Longtime Tennessee Baptist pastor George Gilbert died June 16. Gilbert was a minister in the Knoxville area for nearly 60 years. Churches he served as pastor included Ridgeview, Gayland Heights, Central (Alcoa), Hollywood Hills, Galilee, Northwest and Middlebrook Pike. In addition to serving as a pastor, he was a lifelong educator. Gilbert served in the U.S. Army during the Korean conflict but never saw combat. He was preceded in death by his wife Joyce in 2017. Gilbert is survived by two sons, Greg and Dale Gilbert, five grandchildren and five great grandchildren.
Ann White, a ministry assistant with the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board (formerly Executive Board of the Tennessee Baptist Convention) for 23 years from 1972-95, died July 28. She was 86. White was a member of Belmont Heights Baptist Church. She is survived by her husband, Jerry E. White; four children; nine grandchildren, including Tiffany Pyron, a current member of the TBMB staff, and one great grandchild.
Flewellyn Baptist Church, Springfield, called Patrick Nix as pastor, effective July 8. He and his wife, Joy, have six children, ranging in age from 3 to 20. In addition, the church has called Gracie Meadows as children’s minister. She and her husband, Caleb, have three children. She began serving in May.
Solid Rock Baptist Church, Greenbrier, has called Joshua Lynn as student minister. He and his wife, Brandice, have two sons. They began their ministry in June.
After serving as a bivocational pastor at New Harmony Baptist Church, Savannah, for eight years, Johnny Burns is now serving in a full-time role. In addition, New Harmony recently sent a team on the church’s first international mission trip.
Trinity Missionary Baptist Church, Cookeville, has called Jonathan R. Young as senior pastor. He previously served as associate minister and youth pastor at Brown Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, McMinnville. He and his wife, Christina, have three children. Earl Dirkson, who served Trinity Baptist for 28 years as pastor, is now pastor emeritus.
A mission team from First Baptist Church, Manchester, recently assisted the Hub Church in South Boston (Mass.).
The New Salem Baptist Association of churches will hold a tent revival Sept. 16-19 at 7 p.m. each night with guest evangelist David Leavell. Leavell is president of the Tennessee Baptist Convention and pastor of First Baptist Church, Millington. The Nesbitt Family will lead worship each night.
Six churches from Beulah Baptist Association (Calvary, New Salem, Macedonia, Pleasant Hill Rives, First Baptist, Union City, and Johnson Grove) recently returned from a mission trip to Lumberton, Texas, where they assisted home owners still recovering from last year’s hurricane damage.
Carson-Newman University, Jefferson City, has been named a College of Distinction for 2018-2019, with additional recognitions as a Tennessee College of Distinction and a Christian College of Distinction. Moreover, the university received program-specific recognition in nursing, education and business. Colleges of Distinction’s selection process consists of a review of each institution’s freshman experience and retention efforts alongside its general education programs, alumni success, strategic plan, student satisfaction and more. Schools are accepted on the basis that they adhere to four distinctions: engaged students, great teaching, vibrant community and successful outcomes. Carson-Newman has received the designation several times in recent years.
Union University, Jackson, has been ranked the best online college for value by the SR Education Group’s Guide to Online Schools for 2018. The annual ranking includes all Tennessee schools offering fully online degree programs. Beverly Absher-Bone, dean and professor of educational leadership for Union’s School of Adult and Professional Studies, said Union is rigorous in ensuring that academic quality is never sacrificed in its online courses. She noted that while some schools outsource online courses, Union’s online courses are all taught by core university faculty members and developed to align with Union’s mission and values of being excellence-driven, Christ-centered, people-focused and future-directed. In the ranking, Union tied with the University of Tennessee in Knoxville for the highest academic strength score of 72 percent.