Transitions for the week of 9-20-19

Recent church staff changes, anniversaries, ordinations and deaths within the moderate and progressive Baptist network.

Please submit transitions — including staff changes, ordinations, anniversaries or deaths — to Barbara Francis. This page will be updated weekly.


Lucy Cauthen, to Boulevard Baptist Church, Anderson, S.C., as minister of youth and missions.

Justin Cox, to The United Church of Lincoln, Vermont, as senior pastor.

Wayne Johnson, to The Progressive National Baptist Convention, Washington, D.C., as general secretary. He comes from the pastorate of Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church, Portland, Oregon.

Bill Owen, to First Baptist Church, Murfreesboro, Tenn., as intentional interim pastor.

William Reilly, to Faith Baptist Church, Georgetown, Ky., as pastor.

Nick Walker, to Chancellor Baptist Church, Fredericksburg, Va., as assistant pastor of youth ministry.

Sydney Webster, to Trinity Baptist Church San Mateo, Calif., as pastor.


Charlotte Balis, retiring after 35 years as choir director at Fairfax (Va.) Baptist Church.

Sherry Dowd, retiring as children’s coordinator at Edenton (N.C.) Baptist Church, where she has served for 13 years.

Stephen W. Richerson, retiring as president/executive director of HopeTree Family Services, Salem, Va., after 17 years there.


Helen Cannan Graves, 105, died Sept. 6 in Asheville, N.C. Her husband, Allen Graves, was dean of the School of Christian Education at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Ky., for a quarter century. Her son, Tom Graves, was president of the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond from 191-2007. After her husband’s retirement, they served as missionaries to Ogbomosho, Nigeria. She was preceded in death by her husband, a son, John, and grandsons Jason Graves, Eddie Olney and Steven Olney. She is survived by her children, Joyce Olney, Dorothy C. Hyde, David Graves, Jenny Weisz and Tom Graves.

Michael E. Haynes, 92, died Sept. 12 in Roxbury, Mass. He was pastor emeritus of the historic Twelfth Baptist Church of Roxbury, where he served as pastor from 1964 to 2004. He was known for his friendship with Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. He arranged for King to speak at a joint session of the Massachusetts Legislature in 1965. He was also a friend of the Rev. Billy Graham and served as a member of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. He was awarded seven honorary degrees, including one from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he was a board member since 1976 and helped establish the seminary’s Boston campus. He is survived by his children, Randy Haynes, Abdi Ali, Bruce Wall, Ronald Whitehead and Erroll Lawrence; 11 grandchildren; and several great-grandchildren.

William R. Herzog II, 75, died Aug. 4 in Gettysburg, Pa. He served on the faculty of the American Baptist Seminary of the West, Berkeley, Calif., as professor of New Testament from 1974-1988. He continued teaching at Central Baptist Seminary in Kansas City, Kansas, Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School in Rochester, N.Y., and retired from Andover Newton Theological School, Newton Center, Mass. He is survived by his wife, Mary Alice; a son, Daniel; a daughter, Catherine H.M. Vickery; and two grandsons.

Forrest “Butch” Pesch, 77, died Aug. 22 in Goldthwaite, Texas. He retired from the pastorate of Priddy (Texas) Baptist Church in 2016, having served there 28 years. He also served churches in Eolian, Oak Grove, Bellevue, Moran, Crescent Hills and Abilene, Texas. He was pastor of two churches in California. He is survived by his wife, Nan; children, Keri Farrell, Sheri Bonsai and Joel Pesch; and five grandchildren.



Glen Giles, 10 years as pastor of Enon Baptist Church, Roanoke, Va.

Troy Pearson, 10 years as pastor of West Side Baptist Church, Harrisonburg, Va.


Japanese Baptist Church, Seattle, Wash.; 120 years; Sept. 14.

Smoke Rise Baptist Church, Stone Mountain, Ga.; 50 years; Sept. 22.

Baptist News Global provides a free listing of ministry-related jobs for Baptist churches, theological institutions and organizations across the United States. Click here to learn more.

In case you missed them:

Transitions for the week of 9-13-19

Transitions for the week of 9-6-19

Transitions for the week of 8-30-19

Transitions for the week of 8-16-19

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