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executive director
Jim Richards was saved and answered the call to preach at age seventeen. He pastored for twenty-one years in Louisiana, later serving as Director of Missions in Bentonville, Arkansas. He...

senior staff

  • Doug Hixson

    Director of Missions & Church Planting

    Doug Hixson serves as the Director of Missions & Church Planting for the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention. Doug started with the SBTC in 2017.

    Doug has served in ministry for 28 years as youth pastor, senior pastor and most recently as a church planter in South Dakota. Doug’s church plant in South Dakota also planted three churches in the region.

    Doug is married to Dana and they have two children — Benjamin and Adyson.

  • Gary Ledbetter

    Director of Communications & Ministry Relationships

    Gary Ledbetter serves as Director of Communications and Ministry Relationships for the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention and as editor of the Southern Baptist TEXAN. He joined the staff of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention in 2001.

    Gary most recently served as Dean of Students at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and has served churches and denominational entities in Texas, Indiana and Missouri for more than thirty years. Gary is a graduate of Criswell College, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

    Gary is married to Tammi and they have three children.

  • Jim Richards

    executive director

    Jim Richards was saved and answered the call to preach at age seventeen. He pastored for twenty-one years in Louisiana, later serving as Director of Missions in Bentonville, Arkansas. He has traveled and ministered in all 50 states and 19 countries. He has preached at seminary chapel services, pastors’ conferences, state conventions and the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention. Dr. Richards has served the SBC on various committees and boards, including being elected First Vice President of the Southern Baptist Convention in 2007.

    Dr. Richards’ education includes two undergraduate degrees, a Master of Divinity from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Memphis. He is a Distinguished Alumnus of both seminaries. The Criswell College in Dallas awarded Dr. Richards the Doctor of Divinity in 2013.

    He has authored several books, including Hard Hat Area: Building Biblical Families, Encouraging Words for Difficult Days, Revelation: The Best is Yet to Come and Embracing the Ends of the Earth, and he is a contributing author in The Mission of Today’s Church and Messages for the Journey. He writes a regular column in the TEXAN newspaper and has contributed to numerous blogs, periodicals and newspapers.

    When the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention was formed in November of 1998, Dr. Richards became the first Executive Director. The SBTC has experienced phenomenal growth both numerically and financially. The Convention has become an important partner for churches in Texas and with the Southern Baptist Convention.

    Dr. Richards and his wife, June, have three children and four grandchildren.

  • Joe Davis

    Chief Financial Officer

    Joe Davis serves as Chief Financial Officer and director of the Operational and Financial Services for the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention, a position that he has held since August 1999.

    The Operational and Financial Services area facilitates all ministries of the SBTC through exact accounting of all income, management, and exact recording of budgeted expenses as well as implementation of other business policies. Cooperative Program receipts and designated funds are properly accounted for and held as trust funds for the purpose for which they are given.

    Joe is a graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi. He is married to Judy and they have four daughters.

  • Kenneth Priest

    Director of Convention Strategies

    Kenneth Priest serves the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention as the Director of Convention Strategies. He joined the staff of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention in 2008.

    Kenneth also serves as the founder and director ad interim for the Center for Church Revitalization at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS) and an adjunct professor in church revitalization at SWBTS and Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (MBTS). He has served churches in Texas and North Carolina in various roles of evangelism, educational ministry, and second chair leadership. While serving the SBTC, Kenneth has had the privilege of serving in the role of interim education minister in several churches in DFW. He holds a Master of Arts in Christian Education from SWBTS and has a Doctor of Educational Ministry degree in Church Revitalization from MBTS.

    Kenneth is married to Debbi.

  • Mark Yoakum

    Director of Church Ministries

    Mark Yoakum is the Director of Church Ministries for the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention. He leads the Church Ministries Team with a focus on Sunday School, Church Growth, Discipleship, Worship and Administration.

    Mark graduated from college with a double major of Math and Physics. He later received his Master of Religious Education and Ph.D. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft Worth.

    Mark has served various size churches as Minister of Music, Youth, Education and Discipleship for the last 40 years. Some of the churches that he has served as Minister of Education are First Baptist Church of Euless (1994-2001, 2007-2013), First Baptist McKinney (2001-2005), LakePointe (1991-1994), and First Baptist Springdale Arkansas (1985-1991). Mark’s desire is to see people reached for Christ and discipled. He is a student of how churches grow and he loves people and enjoys watching them mature to become Christ-like.

    In 1974, Mark married his childhood sweetheart Pam and they have two grown daughters: Stephanie and Staci. When he is not working, Mark is playing with his grandson or playing golf with friends.

  • Mike Gonzales

    Director of SBTC en Espanol

    Mike Gonzales serves as Director of SBTC en Espanol for the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention, a position that he has held since 2004. En Espanol exists to encourage and facilitate the fulfillment of the Great Commission to SBTC churches and associations in reaching hispanic groups in Texas through conferences, retreats, informational sessions and church consultations.

    Mike has served as missionary, pastor and most recently as Director of Missions for the Rio Grande Valley Baptist Association. He holds an M.Div. and an M.A. in Missiology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and was awarded an Honorary D.D. from Howard Payne University in 2000.

    Mike is married to Dalia and they have one daughter.

  • Richard Taylor

    Interim Evangelism Director

    Richard Taylor currently serves as the Interim Evangelism Director as well as the Director of Personal Evangelism and Fellowships. Before serving in this role he was the Associate Director of Church Planting. Richard is also the former Director of Evangelism for the Baptist Convention of New York, where he served for 10 years.

    Richard preaches revivals, leads workshops, seminars, and conferences on evangelism, strategic planning and leadership development for churches and other organizations. An effective communicator who challenges and helps people move beyond mediocrity.

    Richard received educational training from Texas A & I University and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He has served for over 25 years in various ministry, church and denominational capacities.

    Originally from Corpus Christi, he and his wife Romona currently live in Watauga.

  • Tony Wolfe

    Director of Pastor/Church Relations

    Tony Wolfe joined the staff of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention in May 2017 as the Director of Pastor/Church Relations. He has the honor of serving, encouraging and connecting pastors and churches across the Lone Star State.

    Previously, Tony served Southern Baptist churches in Texas and Louisiana for 18 years in the areas of Music/Worship, Education and the Pastorate. He holds degrees from Lamar University, Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

    He has authored several books including Going Social, Mile Markers, Be Encouraged; for Pastors and Wives, A Deacon On Purpose and more.

    Tony and his wife Vanessa were married in 2001 and have two sons, Ethan and Aaron. They love to fish, golf and cheer on their LSU Tigers every football season.

ministry staff

  • Alex Gonzales

    Pastor/Church Relations Associate

  • Billy Barnes

    Senior Adult Associate

    Billy Barnes serves as a part-time Senior Adult Associate.

    In addition to leading events for senior adult ministry, he is available to meet and consult with churches who need help with their Senior Adult Ministry. His heart is seeing senior adults come to know the Lord and grow in passion for Him.

  • Bruno Molina

    Language & Interfaith Evangelism Associate

    Bruno Molina serves as the Language and Interfaith Evangelism Associate. He partners with churches by encouraging, equipping, and resourcing them to evangelize the people of over 300 language groups and many faiths in the state of Texas.

    Bruno is an Adjunct Professor of Evangelism and Apologetics at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS) and Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree from New York University in International Relations & Spanish, and both his Master of Arts in Theology and Ph.D. in World Christian Studies from SWBTS. He is a former pastor, church planter and Human Resources Manager.

    Bruno lives in Fort Worth with his beloved wife of 33 years, Clara and they have two grown children: Cristina and Daniel.

  • Chris Enright

    IT Director

    Chris Enright serves the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention as the Information Technology Associate/IT Director. His responsibilities include all computers, software development and purchases, the Web site and all other technical aspects of ministry. Chris worked in the retirement and marketing areas of GuideStone Financial Resources for 14 years before moving to state denominational work in May 2008.

    Chris holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing & Management and an MBA in Finance from Baylor University. He has a beautiful wife, Heather, and three children. His focus is to use his administrative gifts for Kingdom work.

  • Chuy Avila

    Church Planting Associate

    Chuy Avila serves as a Church Planting Associate and catalyst for the DFW area.

    Chuy is tasked with networking with pastors to call out planters from their churches, facilitating training for new planters and supervising current planters.

  • Dan Acharya

    Missions Strategies Associate

    Dan Acharya serves as a Missions Strategies Associate, leading People Group ministries.

    Born into a Hindu family and raised as a Brahmin priest, Dan was introduced as a teenager to his Savior through John 15:16. He has been in ministry over 24 years as a church planter and evangelist both in Asia and Texas. He has seen God plant over 160 churches throughout his years in ministry.

  • Dave Carroll

    Church Ministries Associate

    Dave Carroll serves in the areas of worship leadership and student ministry discipleship. His experience includes effective local church leadership in the areas of family ministry, student ministry, small groups, Sunday school, college ministry, worship leadership, portable church, executive ministry teams, church planting and senior pastor leadership. He has experience in church sizes of 0-1300 in average attendance and 0-100+ in local church age of existence.

    Dave came to saving faith in Jesus and was baptized in his elementary school years. He responded to God’s call to vocational ministry as a freshman at Florida State University. He attended Palm Beach Atlantic University and received a Master of Divinity degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

    Dave’s heart is wired to help churches see their vision, hopes and dreams realized. This is true both for the forward thinking church working on the next innovative idea and the long-time church desiring to take a small step forward toward effectiveness. Convinced most ministries are a few key decisions away from seeing the Lord use them in ways they never thought possible, he looks forward to serving worship and student ministers. Before moving to Texas to join the SBTC, they most recently served in Montana as church planters. The Lord blessed as the church grew to 500+ in six years. During that same span, 600+ people came to saving faith in Jesus and 280+ were baptized.

    Dave has been married to Amy for 20 years and they have four boys ranging from elementary to high school.

  • Jason Lankford

    Church Planting Associate

    Jason Lankford serves as a Church Planting Associate and strategist. He is tasked with networking with SBTC churches to develop partnerships. He also works with and trains new church plants.

    Jason has served in various areas of ministry overseas and most recently, as a church planter in Alaska.

    Jason is married to Caroline and they have three boys.

  • Jesse Contreras

    SBTC en Espanol Associate

    Jesse Contreras serves as the SBTC en Espanol Associate, a position that he has held since 2011. SBTC en Espanol exists to encourage and facilitate the fulfillment of the Great Commission to SBTC churches and associations in reaching hispanic groups in Texas through conferences, retreats, informational sessions and church consultation.

    Jesse holds a M.A. in Christian Education and a Bachelor of Arts, both from Criswell College. He is married to Wendy and they have three children.

  • Joshua Owens

    Strategic Communications Associate

    Joshua Owens has served as Strategic Communications Associate for the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention since 2019.

    Formerly, Joshua spent two years overseas with the International Mission Board. He graduated with a Bachelors in Humanities from Scarborough College and a Masters degree in Strategic Communication from Texas Christian University.

  • Karen Kennemur

    Children's Ministry Associate

    Karen Kennemur serves in the areas of preschool and children’s ministry. She assists churches and preschool-children’s ministers in their ministries to children and families.

    Karen also is the Associate Professor of Children’s Ministries at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS). Before becoming a professor at SWBTS and later joining the SBTC, Karen served at several churches as a preschool and children’s minister and was the director of a private Christian preschool.

    Karen received her PhD in Childhood Education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, her M.A. in Christian Education with a concentration in Children’s Ministry from SWBTS and a Bachelor of Business Administration from Baylor University.

    Karen is married to Danny. They have three children, two daughter-in-laws and five grandchildren.

  • Lance Crowell

    Church Ministries Associate

    Lance Crowell serves the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention as an Associate in the Church Ministries Department. His areas of ministry include Discipleship, Online Training, Men’s, Family, Young Adults, and Young Married ministries.

    Lance accepted God’s call to the ministry while studying engineering at the University of Houston. He served at Sagemont Church in Houston for seven years as Collegiate / Young Adult Minister.

    Lance says of his ministry philosophy, “God has called me at the SBTC to walk beside local church leaders and aid them in the ministry of reaching the lost in the world, discipling them, and helping them impact the world around them for the cause of Christ.”

    Lance is a graduate of the University of Houston with a BS in Engineering as well as a Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering. He is also a graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity. Lance is blessed with an incredible wife (Mandy) and two amazing kids. In his free time he enjoys time with his family, reading, sports and photography.

  • Laura Taylor

    Women's Ministry Associate

    Laura Taylor serves as the Women’s Ministry Associate for the Southern Baptist of Texas Convention.

    Laura graduated from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity degree. For the last 25 years, she has been involved in women’s ministry as coordinator, retreat planner and speaker. She is a board member of the Cleburne Christian Women Job Corp and teaches God’s word to women at First Baptist Church Alvarado where her husband is pastor. Laura is a trained chaplain for SBTC Disaster Relief and enjoys ministry on deployments but her passion is to “love on” and disciple women to follow Jesus.

    Laura and her husband have two daughters.

  • Mitch Tidwell

    Mitch Tidwell serves as the Collegiate Associate. He has worked for the SBTC since 2011, serving in collegiate mobilization, disciple-making, and now directing SBTC Collegiate. Mitch believes that college students are the most strategic generation.

    Mitch received an undergraduate degree from Liberty University and is currently pursuing a graduate degree at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

    Mitch and Olivia Tidwell live in Fort Worth with their two dogs, Luke and Eve.

  • Scottie Stice

    Disaster Relief Director

    Scottie Stice has served as the Director of Disaster Relief for more than ten years.

    Scottie previously served with the International Mission Board in Central America and churches across Texas. He holds a B.A. from Criswell College, a Master of Arts in Missiology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and is a Ph.D. candidate in World Christian Studies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

    Scottie and his wife Judy have been married for over 38 years and have four adult children and three grandchildren.

support staff

  • Allen Sutton

    Graphic Designer

  • Amanda Kennedy

    Receptionist

  • Anna Whitson

    Ministry Assistant

    Anna Whitson serves as a Ministry Assistant.

    Anna manages the People Group Missionaries and their trainings, ESL trainings, Global Hunger Relief grants, Annie Armstrong and Lottie Moon Offerings and the missions team webpages.

  • Caleb Lasater

    Social Media & IT Catalyst

    Caleb oversees social media, email marketing, app & web management. He received a degree in international communications from Texas A&M University and his Master of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife Rachel live in Bedford with their daughter, Liliana.

  • Carmela Mechling

    Ministry Assistant

    Carmela Mechling serves as a Ministry Assistant.

    Carmela manages the church planter application system, church planter monthly reports, church plant, people-group missionary and intern funding/projections, demographic reports, coordinates church planter orientations and basic trainings.

  • Deborah Smith

    Pastor/Church Relations Ministry Assistant

  • Delainey Staats

    Convention Strategies Assistant

  • Easter Cooley

    Operations and Financial Assistant

  • Faith Syphrett

    Ministry Assistant

  • Gayla Harris

    Ministry Assistant

    Gayla Harris serves as a Ministry Assistant.

    Gayla manages Reach Houston, Reach Austin, Reach El Paso, Reach the Rio Grande Valley and other mobilization partnerships, Reach Texas offerings and the annual Church Planter retreat.

  • Gayla Sullivan

    Communications Assistant

  • Gloria Corbitt

  • Jess Calley

    Ministry Assistant

  • Julie Harris

    Staff Accountant

  • Karen Thomas

    Accounts Payable

  • Kenady Shope

    Ministry Assistant to CFO

  • Koby Dickenson

    Lead Videographer

    Koby Dickenson oversees and produces all of the video and podcasting at the SBTC. He was called into the ministry as a teenager and felt that church communications was where God wanted him. He has been in ministry for the past nine years and has served in multiple positions within the church media field.

    Koby and his wife Brittani live in Fort Worth along with their daughter.

  • Kylie Badgley

    Student & Collegiate Ministry Assistant

  • Marsha Nance

    Human Resources/Facilities Manager

  • Paola Enriquez

    Ministry Assistant

  • Randi Kent

    Assistant to the Executive Director

  • Rebecca Burk

    Ministry Assistant

  • Rita Koontz

    Pastor/Church Relations Ministry Assistant

  • San Juanita (Juani) Shelton

    Ministry Assistant

  • Shannon McCoy

    Disaster Relief Ministry Assistant

  • Sheryl McFadden

    Ministry Assistant

  • Teresa Nicholson

    Accountant

  • Tracey Finley

    Financial Assistant

  • Wesley Eaton

    Ministry Assistant

ministry strategist staff

  • David Loyola

    Field Ministry Strategist (part-time)

  • Dennis Parish

    Field Ministry Strategist (part-time)

    Dennis Parish serves as the Field Ministry Strategist for the metro Houston area. He joined the staff of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention in May of 2013.

    Dennis has served as the pastor of Needham Road Baptist/The Church At 242 in Conroe for over 23 years. He finished his dissertation and graduated in November of 2012 with his Doctor of Ministry degree from Southwest Bible College.

    Dennis is married to his wife Karen, and they have 2 grown children and 12 grandchildren.

  • Don McElroy

    Field Ministry Strategist (part-time)

  • Gilbert Chavez

    Field Ministry Strategist (part-time)

    Gilbert Chavez serves as Field Ministry Strategist in Central & South Central Texas. He joined the staff of the SBTC in April 2013.

    Gilbert most recently served as the senior pastor of Oak Meadow Baptist Church in Austin. Gilbert planted Oak Meadow in 1997 reaching 3rd Generation Hispanics (English preference). Oak Meadow has grown to reach multiple ethnic groups in multiple languages. Gilbert holds a Bachelor of Arts in Pastoral Ministry from Dallas Baptist University.

    Gilbert is married to Liz and they have three children.

  • Glen Pearce

    Field Ministry Strategist (part-time)

    Glen Pearce serves as a Field Ministry Strategist in North Texas Zone N-1.

    Prior to sensing God’s call to vocational ministry, Glen managed a building material retail business, was a sales representative for a wholesale hardware company and was an assistant city manager in Southeast Texas.

    He graduated with a Master of Arts in Religious Education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has served in full-time vocational ministry since 1994. Glen served 10 years in Cave Spring Baptist Church in Roanoke, Virginia as Associate Pastor – Minister of Education / Administration as well as Interim Pastor. He then moved back to Texas and has been the Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church Iowa Park for more than 15 years.

    Glen is married to Jerrye and they have 2 children and 5 grandchildren.

  • Gordon Knight

    Field Ministry Strategist (part-time)

  • JC Rico

    Field Ministry Strategist (part-time)

  • Jeremy Bradshaw

    Field Ministry Strategist (part-time)

  • John McGuire

    Field Ministry Strategist (part-time)

    John McGuire is a Field Ministry Strategist covering eleven counties in deep East Texas. He joined the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention in 2013.

    John served as pastor in East Texas for 32 years, leaving the pastorate after nearly 21 years at First Baptist Church of Garrison in December 2012. He is a 1980 graduate of Tennessee Temple University with further studies at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

    John is married to Suzanne. They live in Nacogdoches and are the parents of Aaron and Ann Marie.

  • Micah Meurer

    Field Ministry Strategist (part-time)

    Micah Meurer serves as a Field Ministry Strategist in the panhandle region.

    Micah is also the campus pastor of Paramount Baptist Church’s (Amarillo) River Road campus. His ministry passions are missions, foster care and adoption, pastors, and the local church. Micah is the Founder/Director of Gospel Outreach, USA and he serves on the board of Gospel Outreach of Johannesburg, South Africa. He has personally planned, led and participated in over 30 mission trips. He has served in various ways in denominational life through the SBTC.

    Micah has a B.A. from Dallas Baptist University and a Master of Ministry from Andersonville Theological Seminary. He has also studied at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

    Micah is married to Kerra Jean and they have 10 children.

  • Mitch Kolenovsky

    Field Ministry Strategist (part-time)

    Mitch Kolenovsky currently serves the Southern Baptist of Texas Convention as the Field Ministry Strategist for Zone S-3 in south Texas.

    Prior to answering God’s call to full time ministry, Mitch served as a police officer and polygraph examiner for the Arlington Police Department and was a successful business man. He served in full time evangelism for several years before being called as pastor to Forest Hills Baptist Church in Seguin where he served for twenty years.

    Mitch has a degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Texas in Arlington and an M-Div. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

    Mitch is married to Reva and they have two grown daughters and five grandchildren.

  • Paul Anderson

    Field Ministry Strategist (part-time)

    Paul Anderson, PhD. has served the SBTC and the SBT Foundation for the West Texas Area, as a volunteer in 2010 and as an employee since 2011.

    Paul has pastored for over 40 years serving in Texas, Kansas, and Nebraska. His last pastorate was for 11 1/2 years at Keeler Baptist Church in Borger. He has served on the Committee on Boards of the Southern Baptist Convention, as Vice-President of the Kansas-Nebraska Convention, and on the Executive Board of the SBTC. He is a Past District Governor of Rotary International.

    Paul and his wife, Pat, have two married children and a married granddaughter. They live in Wolfforth, in the Lubbock area.

  • Paul Garcia

    Field Ministry Strategist (part-time)

  • Randy Austin

    Field Ministry Strategist (part-time)

  • Roy Ford

    Field Ministry Strategist (part-time)

  • Tom Shelton

    Field Ministry Strategist (part-time)

  • Wayne Livingston

    Field Ministry Strategist (part-time)

  • Weldon Doherty

    Field Ministry Strategist (part-time)

    Weldon Doherty serves as a Field Ministry Strategist in the Pastor/Church Relations Department since January 2016.

    During more than twenty-five years of pastoral ministry, Weldon has served churches in Louisiana, Texas and Tennessee. He also served with Guidestone Financial Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention, in Dallas, and is retired from Shelby Systems, a church software company in Cordova, Tennessee.

    Weldon and his wife, Terry, are members of Hillcrest Baptist Church in Cedar Hill. They live in Midlothian and have two married sons and five grandchildren.