Todd Deaton has been named managing editor of The Baptist Courier, newsmagazine of the South Carolina Baptist Convention, effective March 1, moving from the editor’s post at the Western Recorder, news journal of the Kentucky Baptist Convention.
Deaton, 55, a South Carolina native who formerly served 13 years as The Courier’s managing editor, will succeed Butch Blume, a 20-year Courier employee who succeeded Deaton in 2009 when Deaton became the Western Recorder’s editor.
Blume, who will retire in April, has served South Carolina Baptists for more than three decades, including 14 years at Anderson College (now Anderson University) before joining The Courier’s staff.
“We are beyond delighted that Todd will again be joining The Courier family,” editor Rudy Gray said. “He is an accomplished Christian journalist, a successful editor and a South Carolina native who certainly knows South Carolina Baptists.
“As we sought a managing editor to replace Butch Blume, it became evident that God was leading us to Todd. As both of us prayed about this possibility, we recognized that God was at work in our hearts. It has been a smooth process characterized by unity, and we praise God for His guidance.”
Gray credited Blume for having played a key role at The Courier in producing the magazine and web content and with the Courier Publishing book-publishing arm.
Deaton said he and his wife Michelle “have sensed for some time that God has been loosening our Kentucky ties in preparing us for new challenges in ministry. Little did we ever dream that we would be returning to serve the Baptists of my home state and to work with The Baptist Courier again. It is, indeed, a rare blessing to come home again, and I’m delighted that God is providing us with this opportunity to begin our ministry there anew. My wife and I also are looking forward to renewing great friendships among South Carolina Baptists.”
Chip Hutcheson, chairman of the Western Recorder’s board of trustees and a former Kentucky convention president, said the board and the newspaper’s subscribers “are thankful for Todd’s 10 years of dedicated service to Kentucky Baptists. We appreciate his dedication to telling the stories about how the Lord has been working through Kentucky Baptists. And I appreciate his desire to build bridges rather than cause discord.”
Hutcheson, who recently retired as publisher of the Times Leader in Princeton, Ky., said the newspaper world has changed dramatically during Deaton’s tenure, noting that he had weathered those challenges well. “In recent times he has continued to edit the newspaper with a much smaller staff than when he arrived here, and has done so without complaint,” he said.
Deaton stated, “Ministering with the Western Recorder staff and trustees on behalf of Kentucky Baptists truly has been a highlight of my career in Baptist journalism. I will treasure the friendships made while serving among Kentucky Baptists.”
Deaton is a recent president of the Association of State Baptist Publications and longtime member of Baptist Communicators Association and has won numerous journalism honors, including five first-place editorial awards from the Kentucky Press Association. He also previously served as associate editor of the Biblical Recorder, North Carolina's news journal.
Deaton holds a doctor of education degree from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C.; a master of divinity degree from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky.; and an undergraduate degree from Furman University in Greenville, S.C.
He and his wife, Michelle, have two children, Laura, a nurse in Louisville, and Caleb, an aviation major at Eastern Kentucky University.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Compiled by Baptist Press senior editor Art Toalston, with reporting by The Baptist Courier of South Carolina and Kentucky Today of the Kentucky Baptist Convention.)