Lifeway Trustees Elect First African-American Woman as Trustee Chair • Bible Recorder
For the first time in its 130-year history, Lifeway Christian Resources will have an African-American woman as a director. Missie Branch was elected on March 8 by Lifeway directors at a special meeting. Branch is assistant dean of women’s students and director of graduate life at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. A member of Imago Dei Church in Raleigh, North Carolina, the branch began service on the board in 2017.
Lifeway CEO Ben Mandrel shared his enthusiasm for this historic moment and praised Branch’s leadership ability, character and love for the local church. “Missie’s character, her commitment to the local church and her investment in the ministry leaders of tomorrow give me confidence that she is the person to lead our council,” Mandrell said. “I am thrilled and grateful for her historic appointment as the first African-American woman to chair our Board of Directors. “Missie is a brilliant individual with enormous insight and inner strength from the Lord. I believe she will be a strong and unifying leader. She is a great friend to Lifeway, and I look forward to our deepening partnership.
Branch expressed her gratitude to the council and her confidence in her to lead them well. “I am honored by the confidence of my fellow board members,” Branch said. “Leading alongside a group like ours is an honor. When I was asked to join the board a few years ago, I never anticipated such an opportunity. I enjoy serving an organization whose mission is directly related to the ministry and mission of the local church. I am determined to work with my fellow board members as we seek to honor the Lord and serve our convention.
Branch was elected vice-chair at the directors’ meeting held on January 25. She will now fill the role vacated by Greg Kannady, who stepped down as chairman due to a recent health issue. While Kannady plans to continue his service as a board member, he shared with the trustees via email that he thought it would be wise to replace him as chairman of the board.
Mandrell expressed his appreciation for Kannady’s continued commitment to Lifeway. “We are all praying for Greg and his family as they face this health challenge together,” Mandrell said.
The directors also elected Luther McDaniel, Chief Financial Officer at Empirical Capital Partners, as Vice Chairman. McDaniel has served on the board since 2016. He is a member of First Baptist Church, Hendersonville, Tenn. “Luther McDaniel’s financial and business expertise is invaluable as he assumes the role of vice president,” Mandrell said. “I am grateful to him for his leadership and for the other men and women who serve faithfully on our Board of Directors.
Ben Posey, pastor of First Baptist Church in Leroy, Ala., will continue to serve as recording secretary. “I so appreciate Ben’s leadership and dedication to serving Christ and his church,” Mandrell said. “The church he leads is similar to the vast majority of Southern Baptist churches – churches that rely on resources provided by Lifeway. It is essential that pastors like Ben provide feedback and talk about these resources. »
Lifeway’s next directors’ meeting is scheduled for August 29-30, 2022.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Carol Pipes is Director of Corporate Communications for LifeWay Christian Resources.)