First Baptist Church, Newbern, recently called Mark LaRue as senior pastor. Mark previously served as senior pastor of Mount Gilead Baptist Church in Bethel Springs. LaRue was licensed to the ministry by the former Leaclair Baptist Church in Memphis. He was ordained by the former Dellwood Baptist Church in Memphis. A Memphis native, LaRue graduated from Crichton College (formerly Mid-South Bible College) and earned his master’s degree from Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary, both in Memphis. Mark earned his doctor of ministry in biblical preaching through the Stephen F. Olford Center for Biblical Preaching and the Master’s School of Divinity. Mark and his wife, Kimsey, have three grown sons.
R. Maurice Hollingsworth Sr. began serving as pastor at Pleasant Heights Baptist Church in Columbia, effective July 11. He has served as a pastor in Kentucky, New Mexico and Texas. He also served as executive pastor of West Jackson Baptist Church, Jackson. Hollingsworth and his wife, Nancy, are former IMB missionaries to Taiwan. He holds a master of divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas, and a doctor of philosophy degree from New Orleans (La.) Baptist Theological Seminary.
has been named vice president for church relations and campus ministries at Carson-Newman University in Jefferson City, effective Aug. 1. He currently serves as director of leadership development for the North American Mission Board and is the interim pastor of First Baptist Church, Naples, Fla. Akin is a graduate of Boyce College in Louisville, Ky., and holds the advanced master of divinity degree and doctor of philosophy degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville. He and his wife, Ashley, have three children.
David Crocker has been called as interim pastor of First Baptist Church, Gatlinburg.
Paul Fries, director of missions/associational mission strategist for Salem Baptist Association since 2016, has announced his resignation, effective Sept. 1. Fries, a native of Wisconsin, and his wife, Cheryl, plan to move to Reedsburg, Wis. His desire is to be involved with church planting in the Minnesota-Wisconsin Baptist Convention.
Gary Anderson Sr., died July 5 at the age of 84. Anderson was a longtime Tennessee Baptist pastor. His pastorates included Orlinda Baptist Church, Orlinda; Emmanuel Baptist Church, Lawrenceburg; First Baptist Church, Dunlap; Piney Grove Baptist Church, Bolivar; and Hickory Valley Baptist Church, Hickory Valley. He also ministered as a chaplain in two locations in Tennessee and served as the liaison for the Tennessee Baptist Convention at the Capitol in Nashville. Anderson was active in the Indian Creek Baptist Association, serving for several years as treasurer. He is survived by his wife, Joyce, and two children.