The Executive Committee has named Shawn Hendricks as editor of Baptist Press, effective Sept. 1.
Last year, Hendricks began transitioning into his new role when he was named managing editor/director of operations. As editor, Hendricks will continue to direct the daily operations and content of Baptist Press and maintain the administrative duties he began a year ago. Art Toalston, who served as editor of Baptist Press for more than 23 years, was named senior editor in 2015 when Hendricks assumed his expanded duties.
“Shawn has done an amazing job this past year as he stepped into a whole new set of duties,” Roger S. Oldham, vice president for convention communications and relations with the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, said. “Coming to us as a gifted writer and editor, he has seamlessly stepped forward to organize and assign the daily lineup of stories, engage in advance planning with BP staff and state paper editors, enlist freelance writers, solicit news content, oversee the BP team’s daily work and manage the SBC annual meeting press room.
“He has also worked to strengthen relationships with Baptist state paper editors and associates as well as media and communications personnel with our SBC entities,” Oldham said.
Hendricks accepted the position of Baptist Press managing editor in 2013 after serving two years in the same role for the Biblical Recorder, newsjournal of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. Before that, he served for nearly 10 years as a staff writer – and later senior writer – at the International Mission Board.
“During his interview for the managing editor position following a national search, it became readily apparent that Shawn was administratively gifted,” Oldham said. “Assigning him these additional responsibilities has freed Art Toalston, editor since 1992, to step into a more focused role of finding new talent, mentoring new writers and soliciting opinion pieces from a wider range of contributors. We have an extremely strong editorial team in Art and Shawn, supported by a strong central Baptist Press team.”
Other members of the Baptist Press staff are Diana Chandler, general assignment writer/editor, David Roach, chief national correspondent and Laura Erlanson, operations coordinator. Marcia Knox serves as part-time editorial assistant.
Hendricks also worked as a news and feature writer with the State Gazette daily newspaper in Dyersburg, Tenn., 1997-98; public relations staff writer at Hannibal-LaGrange College – now Hannibal-LaGrange University – in Hannibal, Mo., 1998-99; and news and feature writer at the former newsjournal for the Missouri Baptist Convention, Word & Way, 1999-2002.
A 1996 communication arts/journalism graduate from Union University in Jackson, Tenn., Hendricks completed internships with the Indiana Baptist, newsjournal of the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana, and The Jackson Sun (Tenn.) daily newspaper. He is a native of Troy, Mo.
Hendricks, 42, is president of Baptist Communicators Association for 2016-2017. He was program co-chair for the BCA’s 2014 annual meeting at the LifeWay Conference Center in Ridgecrest, N.C. He and his wife Stephanie have an 8-year-old daughter Laura and two foster children, ages 3 and 2.