Evan Owens, former associate pastor of The Journey Church in Lebanon, has been called as pastor of Rutledge Falls Baptist Church, Tullahoma. He is a graduate of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Ky. His grandfather, Don Owens, served as pastor of Rutledge Falls from 1954-57. Owens and his wife, Megan, have a son, Mack.
First Baptist Church, Winchester, recently ordained John Corak as a deacon.
Jessica Albritton, former ministry assistant with the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board, has been called as the Next Gen Minister at Living Hope Baptist Church, Clarksville.
Heather Beard, ministry assistant with the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board, has been named vice president of publicity with the National Association of Ministry Assistants. She will serve a two-year term and be a part of planning and promoting NAMA’s national meeting in 2021.
An endowment named after a former Tennessee Woman’s Missionary Union leader has awarded its first grants to two women taking courses from the WMU Christian Women’s Leadership Center. The Candy P. Phillips WMU Leadership Endowment, established in memory of Candy Phillips, who served as executive director of Tennessee WMU for nearly 12 years, has named Amanda Spivey of Williams Chapel Baptist Church in Springfield and Emily Medina of New York as its first recipients. The award was endowed by her husband, Bill Phillips, a member of First Baptist Church, Nashville, who said his late wife had a heart to help women realize their leadership potential after someone helped her realize her potential years ago. Candy Phillips served in WMU leadership roles 40 years before her death in 2017.
The Arabic Baptist Church of Murfreesboro has called Wagdy Zakher as their first full-time pastor, effective May 1. He and his family will be moving to Tennessee from New Jersey. Originally from Egypt, Zakher has years of experience in ministering to Muslims in both his home country and in Jordan where he earned two degrees from the Jordan Evangelical Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Nariman Abbassi, a native of Jordan, have four children: Sylvia, Cynthia, Peter and John.
Steve Ross, director of missions for three-and-a-half years with Campbell County Baptist Association, based in LaFollette, has resigned, effective May 6, to become pastor of Indiana Avenue Baptist Church, LaFollette.
Kim Kitzmiller, office manager for Holston Baptist Association for 23 years, has retired. Taking over as the new office manager will be Claudia Gimenez-Carlson, who has served as office administrator at the association since last year. Also, Jeremy Carlson will serve as director of communications for the association.
Grace Baptist Church, Collinwood, has called Tommy Stevens as pastor.
First Baptist Church, Bolivar, has called Dylan Hill as minister of youth and education, effective June 1. He had been serving in an interim role.
Gary Biggs, 64, of Morristown, died March 23. He has served in the ministry since 1974 and was pastor of several churches, including Centerview Baptist Church, Bybee, at the time of his death. He is survived by his wife, Debra White Biggs, two children and four grandchildren.
Mary Elizabeth Longmire, longtime organist and oldest member of Mouth of Richland Baptist Church, Blaine, died April 27 at the age of 99. In addition to serving as organist, she also was a longtime leader of Women on Mission. She loved missionaries and mission work. She is survived by two daughters and several grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Union Fork Baptist Church, Soddy-Daisy, will hold revival services May 19-22 with guest evangelist Phil Glisson of Memphis.
New Middleton Baptist Church, Gordonsville, celebrated its 180th anniversary on April 14. A special part of the celebration was the burning of a note for building debt that was paid in full on April 4.
A 14-member team from churches in Gibson Baptist Association recently served in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Seven pastors from the association preached in churches and conducted a crusade while several lay leaders worked with the pastors in door-to-door evangelism and discipleship Bible studies. The association will return to Brazil in June and September.