By Jane Rodgers, Southern Baptist TEXAN
KEY LARGO, Fla.—Editors at the Feb. 7-10 annual meeting of the Association of State Baptist Publications issued a resolution honoring Gary Ledbetter upon his transition from serving as longtime editor of the Southern Baptist Texan.
The resolution acknowledged Ledbetter’s involvement as a “noted editor and writer in Southern Baptist life” for more than 45 years, including 21 as editor of the Texan and communications director for the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention. Other career highlights recognized in the resolution included Ledbetter’s tenure as ASBP president in 2009; serving as Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary vice president for student development from 1995-2000; and his work with the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana in the late 1980s and early 1990s; as well his other various SBC national roles.
Calling Ledbetter’s marriage to his wife, Tammi, “a storied communications career partnership with his wife of 45 years (and friend since high school),” the resolution also recognized her contributions as a “noted writer and editor in her own right.”
Acknowledging that Ledbetter’s role in Baptist communications will continue as he serves as adviser to the Texan and project manager and senior editor for the Missouri Baptist Convention’s High Street Press, the resolution conveyed the organization’s deep appreciation for his contributions to Southern Baptist communications and signaled a commitment to pray for the couple as they enter a new season of ministry.
“Through the years, Gary has passionately used his giftedness in communications to serve the kingdom of God,” ASBP Executive Director Margaret Colson said. “As president of the Association of State Baptist Publications in 2009, Gary was a leader among his peers. He encouraged and inspired his fellow editors to adhere to the highest standards of journalism as they communicated trustworthy and compelling stories of faith.
“As emerging technology provided new methods of communications over Gary’s decades of service to the denomination, he embraced the opportunity to cast a wider net in reaching people with the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Brian Hobbs, editor of the Oklahoma Baptist Messenger and 2021 ASBP president, said: “Gary and Tammi Ledbetter are an amazing ministry team. I’m so thankful to the Lord for their service. Gary has been a great example through the years, a real source of encouragement and inspiration to many in the ministry, including me. His impact through his service in Texas and beyond will be felt for generations to come.”
Mr. Ledbetter said he has viewed the work of Baptist publications as “crucial to our cooperative work.
“It’s been an amazing privilege to be a part of that,” he added. “ASBP members have been friends and helpful colleagues to me at many points along that way. I am grateful for the kind expression of their resolution for Tammi and me, and also for their prayers for us as we walk new ministry paths. I certainly wish them God’s best as they publish stories of God’s work among his Southern Baptist people.”
The resolution was presented by Jennifer Rash, editor of The Alabama Baptist, and unanimously approved by the editors. Terry Barone, retiring editor from the California Southern Baptist Association, was similarly honored. The ASBP resolutions committee was comprised of Rash and David Williams, editor of the Minnesota-Wisconsin Baptist.
This article first appeared in The Southern Baptist TEXAN. Reprinted by permission.