SBC DIGEST: Todd Fisher nominated as Oklahoma executive; Atlanta interstate named for Charles Stanley; FBC Montgomery meets after fire

Todd Fisher nominated to be Oklahoma Baptists’ executive director-treasurer

By Baptist Messenger Staff

OKLAHOMA CITY (BP) – Todd Fisher, senior pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Shawnee, Okla., has been nominated to serve as the next executive director-treasurer for Oklahoma Baptists, according to a Monday (Oct. 4) announcement from Michael Staton, chairman of the search committee, who is pastor of First Baptist Church in Mustang, Okla.

Fisher has been pastor at Immanuel since 2003 and is currently serving a one-year term as Oklahoma Baptists’ president. He will be presented to state convention board members for consideration and a vote during a special-called business meeting Tuesday (Oct. 5) in Oklahoma City.

If elected, Fisher would become the 10th executive director in the state convention’s history, succeeding Hance Dilbeck, who stepped down earlier this year to become president-elect of GuideStone Financial Resources.

Fisher has more than 25 years of experience as a Southern Baptist pastor and leader. He is married to Jamy, and they have three children: Zachary, Carly and Anna.

He holds a doctor of ministry degree from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (2001), a master of divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (1996) and a bachelor of arts from Oklahoma Baptist University (1992). He earned master of theology and doctor of philosophy degrees from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2018. He has taught at Oklahoma Baptist University, Southern Seminary and Southwestern Seminary. He has served on various boards across SBC life, including as chair of the Southern Seminary trustee board.


Portion of interstate highway near Atlanta named in honor of Charles Stanley

By Timothy Cockes

ATLANTA, GA (BP) – Charles Stanley, pastor emeritus of First Baptist Church in Atlanta and former president of the Southern Baptist Convention, had a portion of Interstate 285 near Atlanta named in his honor and dedicated to him Saturday, Sept. 25.

According to media reports, “Dr. Charles F. Stanley Highway” was approved by the Georgia Legislature during its last session. The portion of the highway stretches a half-mile east and west of the North Peachtree Road Interchange in DeKalb County, Ga., a short distance from First Baptist Atlanta.

Stanley is well known as the pastor of First Baptist Atlanta for more than 50 years. He became pastor emeritus in September of 2020. He served as the president of the SBC from 1984 to 1986.

Stanley also founded In Touch Ministries in 1977, which broadcasts his sermons worldwide. In Touch broadcasts are viewed by millions each week.

At a ceremony Sept. 25 (which was also Stanley’s 89th birthday), Georgia Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan presented Stanley with the road-naming dedication.

“The significance of Dr. Stanley’s work is impossible to measure both in Georgia and across the world,” Duncan said. “The portion of I-285 dedicated to him will always stand as a symbol of his impact.”

Stanley continues to do ministry with In Touch, and will release a new book in November titled “When You Don’t Know What to Pray: 100 Essential Prayers for Enduring Life’s Storms.”


First Baptist Montgomery meets in aftermath of arson

By The Alabama Baptist Staff

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (BP) – On Sept. 30, a crowd gathered outside First Baptist Church in a show of support following an apparent arsonist attack a few hour earlier. Pastor Mark Bethea said he was “so encouraged to see and pray with my dear brothers and sisters in the Lord after a grueling day.”

In a statement Friday (Oct. 1), Bethea said FBC Montgomery would have a single worship service on Sunday (Oct. 3) and take the Lord’s Supper in the Perry Street parking lot near the church at 8:30 a.m. in keeping with earlier plans to observe World Communion Sunday.

No indoor activities will be held at the church, but Bethea said he was encouraging small groups to meet in homes, parks or via Zoom if possible.

As cleanup and repair continues, Bethea said the church will have a better idea this week of when programs and services can return to the campus.

“While the damage was mitigated, smoke and soot damage was heavy,” he wrote. Cleanup is going well he said, “but this will be a process that will require patience and flexibility.”

Read updated story here.

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