SBTS names new VP of advancement

Communications Staff — October 17, 2012

The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary announced R. Craig Parker as its vice president for institutional advancement and executive director of the Southern Seminary Foundation, Oct. 17.

“Craig Parker is a man of remarkable gifts, long standing Southern Baptist experience, valuable experience in the local church and a demonstrated expertise in building a ministry,” said R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of the seminary. “To know him and his wife, Selwyn, is to know a dedicated Christian couple whose commitment to Christ, to the church and to Southern Seminary is tangible and powerful.”

Southern’s Office of Institutional Advancement and the Southern Seminary Foundation lead fundraising efforts for the seminary, from major building projects to raising money for the school’s annual fund, which defrays tuition costs for master’s degree students.

Parker grew to know and love Southern Baptists through his service in administrative roles in Tennessee, including 15 years as church administrator at Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova — the church once pastored by Adrian Rogers and a significant church in the history of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Parker, also a former trustee for Guidestone Financial Resources, claims that Rogers influenced his life like no one else. He thinks that working for Rogers makes his new role all the more significant.

“I got to serve the greatest Southern Baptist leader of the 20th century. And now I get to serve the greatest Southern Baptist leader of the 21st century,” he said, referring to Mohler.

Both Murray, Ky., natives and lifelong Kentucky Wildcat fans, Parker and his wife of 35 years, Selwyn — with whom he has two adult children, Leah and Matt — are thrilled to be back in the bluegrass state. But Parker thinks the best part of this new position is supporting the students of the seminary, helping equip them for faithful and fruitful ministries.

“I want to help build churches where my grandkids can be taught truth, and receive a foundation for their lives, and no one is better able to prepare future church leaders than Southern Seminary,” he said.

According to Parker, the passion for the church and zeal for evangelism that characterize the seminary students are what drive him to ensure that their ministry-training is as attainable as possible.

He said: “We need to get the student out on the field as fast as we can, as well equipped as we can.”

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