ATLANTA — Don Durham,
president of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF) Foundation since 2002, is
stepping down from the post at the conclusion of the 2010 General Assembly June
23-26 in Charlotte.
Durham, 40, who previously
held development posts with United Methodist Family Services, Albright Care
Foundation and Gardner-Webb University, said he has known for 20 years the day
would come for him to leave an institutional setting for ministry in a local
A 1994 graduate of Southern
Baptist Theological Seminary, Durham said over a year ago he decided he wanted
to move closer to his daughters in central North Carolina and pursue a
bi-vocational ministry with people “for whom traditional church doesn’t
Durham, who announced his
plans to the CBF Coordinating Council Feb. 18, said he has been working with
the foundation’s board toward a smooth transition since July 2009.
search for his replacement is underway, and board members hope to fill the
position by the middle of 2010.
“Don’s leadership has
allowed the foundation to provide meaningful support to the work of the
Fellowship into the 21st century,” said Rebecca Wiggs, a Mississippi attorney
and current chair of the foundation’s board. “He has helped create a genuine
partnership between Baptist agencies, churches and families who want to be
effective stewards of their money so that the ministry of CBF will be ongoing.”
The CBF Foundation exists to
raise endowments and offer endowment management and promotional services for
all ministries of CBF and its partners, including local churches. While closely
linked to the Atlanta-based Fellowship, the foundation is autonomous and
governed by a separate board of trustees.
In more than seven years as
president, Durham increased the number of CBF Foundation clients by more than
double from 17 to 43, and he attracted the first multi-million-dollar clients
for the foundation.
He secured more than $10 million in fund-management
accounts and realized estate gifts including the foundation’s largest realized
estate gift to date — over $1.2 million to endow CBF Global Missions field
He also led the CBF
Foundation to offer churches a way to invest a portion of their endowment
principal in micro-enterprise development loans to entrepreneurial borrowers in
poor countries who use the loans to start or expand businesses to support their
families. The foundation has just over $1 million committed to microfinance
investments so far.
“I’ve spent the last 15-20
years helping pay for an awful lot of good ministry as a fund raiser,” Durham
said. “However, I believe it’s time for me to transition to a more direct
expression of local ministry with my sleeves rolled up as one seeking to be the
presence of Christ.”