Russ Wilkins, director of missions for Shiloh Baptist Association since 2018, will write the Explore the Bible Sunday School commentaries for the Dec.-Feb. quarter. Wilkins was born and raised in Millington, graduated from Union University, Jackson, and then worked there for four years. After serving as an admissions Counselor, he went into full-time ministry at First Baptist Church, Huntingdon, where he served the next 25 years in various roles including associate, youth and missions pastor. He has been married to his wife Debbie for 29 years. They have two children, Sarah (married to Bishop Haynes) and Tripp as well as one granddaughter, Brynleigh.
Yellow Creek Baptist Church, Cumberland City, has called George “Butch” Smith as senior pastor. He is a graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas, and has more than 20 years of pastoral experience. He most recently served as associate pastor of Caney Creek Baptist Church in Texas. He and his wife, Michele, will begin serving the church on Dec. 6.
Troy Dean Rust began serving Nov. 1 as director of missions for Holston Baptist Association, based in Johnson City. He formerly served as associational missions strategist for Beulah Baptist Association in Roxboro, N.C. He also has served as pastor of churches in North Carolina and Kentucky. Rust has Tennessee ties. He came to faith in Christ at Red River Baptist Church in Adams and graduated from Austin Peay State University in Clarksville. He also holds the master of divinity and doctor of philosophy degrees from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Ky. Rust and his wife, Amy, have seven children and a baby girl due in March of 2021.
John Wesley “Wes” Depew died Nov. 15 at the age of 61. A native of Kingsport, Depew was minister of youth for Dixie Hills Baptist Church in Bolivar. He served Tennessee churches since 1979 in addition to churches in Kentucky and Virginia. Depew held degrees from Campbellsville (Ky.) University and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Ky. He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Barbara Fields Depew, two children and four grandchildren. He was involved in the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board’s Super Summer camps. The family requests that memorials be to the “Volunteer Missions Scholarship Fund” at Tennessee Baptist Mission Board. Gifts can be made online at www.easytithe.com/tnbaptist.
Carson-Newman University in Jefferson City will hold its Winter Commencement Ceremony Dec. 11 at 2 p.m. in the Sevierville Convention Center. The guest speaker will be Claude Pressnell Jr., president of the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association. C-N has several requirements for the event to meet COVID-19 guidelines, including required face coverings, temperature checks upon entry and social distancing. A limited number of tickets for guests were issued to graduates. For those unable to attend, the graduation service will be livestreamed at www.cn.edu/live.