NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Jim Wells, the Southern Baptist
Convention’s (SBC) registration secretary, will be re-nominated for another
one-year term during the June 14-15 annual meeting in Phoenix, Ariz., a
Missouri pastor announced June 7.
Neil Franks, lead pastor of First Baptist Church in Branson, Mo., said Wells,
who is director of missions for the Tri-County Baptist Association in southwest
Missouri, has what Southern Baptists need “more of.”
“When I moved to Branson over four years ago, Jim was among the first to
welcome me, encourage me and pray for me,” Franks said. “He continues to be a
confidant both to me and any pastor who will receive his friendship. Ten years
into his leadership of Tri-County Association, instead of simply maintaining
the status quo, he led us through a transition of becoming a more ‘local church
focused’ association. This change has led to a more effective ministry where
relationships have been strengthened among the churches. Even more important
than that, greater resources have been devoted to helping local churches
accomplish their God-called tasks in their communities with less focus on
building larger denominational structures. We need that type of leadership in
Wells also is a role model for reaching out to and encouraging younger leaders
and embracing innovative new technologies, Franks added. “I could say much more
about Jim and his effectiveness in ministry, but here is what you need to know:
Jim has a heart for all types of people — the lost, the saved, the church
member, the pastor, the staff member, and we need that energy toward caring and
concern more than ever in the SBC.”
The Tri-County Baptist Association, which Wells has led for 10 years, received
the “Church Planting Association of the Year” award in 2004 from the Missouri
Baptist Convention. He has been a member of the Missouri Baptist Convention’s
executive board and the SBC Executive Committee.
A member of Hopedale Baptist Church in Ozark, Mo., Wells previously pastored
Oakwood Baptist Church in Kansas City, Mo., for 16 years, leading the church to
increase its Cooperative Program giving from 8 percent to more than 16 percent
of undesignated receipts. He was in the pastorate more than 32 years. He has
served SBC registration secretary since 2002.
A Missouri native, Wells holds a master of divinity degree from Midwestern
Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Mo., along with degrees from
Hannibal-LaGrange College and Central Missouri State University.
Wells and his wife, Judy, have one daughter, Dana.