CBF Staff Directory

Paul Baxley

Executive Coordinator


The Rev. Dr. Paul Baxley was unanimously elected as the fourth executive coordinator of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship in January 2019. He frequently preaches and teaches across the 30-year-old Fellowship as he leads this diverse community that includes nearly 1,400 congregations, thousands of individuals, 19 state and regional organizations, 800-plus chaplains and pastoral counselors, dozens of theological education and ministry partners, and 60-plus field personnel serving in 20 countries.

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Previously, Paul served as senior minister of First Baptist Church in Athens, Ga., since 2010. A native of Winston-Salem, N.C., he has also held pastorates and ministry positions in North Carolina and Virginia and is a former member of the CBF Governing Board. During his two-terms on the CBF Governing Board from 2013-2017, Paul chaired an ad hoc committee that worked for 18 months to develop a comprehensive plan for Global Missions committed to the long-term presence of CBF field personnel around the world.

Paul is a graduate of Wake Forest University (Bachelor of Arts – Religion, 1991), Duke Divinity School (Master of Theological Studies, 1996) and Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond (Doctor of Ministry, 2003). He has held a variety of leadership roles on the boards of Mercer University’s McAfee School of Theology, the Baptist House of Studies of Duke Divinity School and the Center for Congregational Health.

Paul and his wife, Jennifer, a licensed physical therapist, have four children: Olivia, Maria and twins Caroline and Matthew. He enjoys reading, especially history, fiction and biography books and cheers for the Wake Forest Demon Deacons and the Georgia Bulldogs.

Learn more about Paul at www.cbf.net/baxley.

Kelly Rhodes Adams

Director of Clergy Support Ecosystem

Kelly gives leadership to supporting clergy through an ecosystem that includes the CBF Fellows, Peer Learning Groups, and our Thriving in Ministry grant initiative. She is passionate about resourcing clergy and offering a holistic approach to wellness so that they can better lead their congregations to expand their capacity for creativity and renewal.

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Kelly hopes to be a resource to pastors and churches as they think critically about the changing landscape of pastoral ministry, calling, and wellness. She is excited about serving Cooperative Baptists by sharing about issues pertinent to pastoral wellbeing.

Kelly comes to CBF with a wealth of experience. She gained her BA in Accounting from Meredith College and her M. Div. in Christian Education from Campbell University Divinity School. She has spent the past five years working in the Center for Congregational Resources at Samford University and working with the Lilly Endowment's Called to Lives of Meaning and Purpose initiative. She also served as associate pastor in Edenton, NC for six years giving her keen insight into the life of a staff minister.

Kelly enjoys adventuring with her husband and son, jogging, and learning her new craft of cross-stitching. She also enjoys some good 90's-00's hip hop and R&B music!

She joined the CBF staff in March 2023.

Chris Aho

Director of Thriving Congregations


Chris directs the Thriving Churches Initiative and works to discover and design ways to cultivate the conditions for thriving within CBF congregations. He loves walking with people toward experiences of awe and wonder as they imagine new possibilities through the tools of design to bring about new experiences and fresh understandings.

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He is a graduate of Baylor University (Bachelor of Arts, Religion) and two-time graduate of Duke Divinity School (Master of Divinity, Doctor of Ministry). He brings to the position a recent academic background having explored the intersections between the work of the church in Acts and modern design thinking tools and processes during his Doctor of Ministry program.

He enjoys cycling, running, reading, working on cars and bikes, watching Silicon Valley and spending time with family.

Chris joined the CBF staff in May 2021.

Laura Ayala

Coordinator of Global Missions


The Rev. Laura Ayala has served as Coordinator of Global Missions since February 2023. Rev. Ayala oversees CBF Global Mission, Chaplaincy and Pastoral Counseling Ministries, and Disaster Response. For nine years, she served as pastor of First Baptist Church of Rio Piedras in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

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Rev. Ayala is a graduate of Drew University (Masters degrees in Religion) and the Universidad del Turabo in Gurabo, Puerto Rico. She is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Theology from the Interamerican University in San Juan.

Rev. Ayala is passionate to see God’s transformational power in the lives of many in the United States and around the world through the ministries of CBF field personnel. She serves churches by providing needed information to enhance local and missional work, and encourages missions committees and church members to be directly involved in missions praying, going and giving. Rev. Ayala enjoys spending time in nature and is a baseball fan, rooting on her favorite team, the Boston Red Sox.

Lynn Brinkley

PAK Field Ministry Coordinator


Lynn Brinkley serves as the PAK Field Ministry Coordinator working to build relationships with Black clergy and connect them to CBF for fellowship, partnership, and justice work. She is passionate about fostering a beloved community, preaching, and advocating for the marginalized and oppressed.

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Lynn has a Bachelors of Arts degree from North Carolina State University, a Masters in Criminal Justice from the University of Tennessee, a Masters of Divinity from Campbell Divinity School and a Doctorate of Ministry from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary. Lynn previously served for 13 years as Director of Church Relations at Campbell Univ. Divinity School, has held leadership roles with the General Baptist State Convention of North Carolina and served as the associate director with Baptist Women in Ministry.

During her free time, Lynn can be found traveling, spending time at the gym or spa, or watching collegiate and professional basketball and football games.

Leslie Brogdon

Director of Operations, CBF Foundation


Leslie works with the CBF Foundation to streamline and optimize efficiencies for the Foundation and CBF churches.

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Leslie loves aligning tasks and teams to simplify projects, and spends time synthesizing processes so that churches have a turn-key solution for problems that take too much of their time, making it easier for individuals to manage their generosity.

Formerly a director of operations for a digital marketing agency, Leslie is also an ordained minister and most recently served as the Minister to Families at Peachtree Baptist Church, a CBF congregation in Atlanta, Ga. She is a graduate of Reinhardt University, where she received a B.S. in Sociology, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary where she received an M.A. in Christian Education, and Kellogg School of Management where she received a Certificate in Digital Marketing Strategies.

In her free time, Leslie loves to paddle board, play European board games, and watch the Rose family’s antics on Schitt’s Creek.

She joined the staff in August 2021.

Shauw Chin Capps

CBF Foundation President/CBF Chief Development Officer


Shauw Chin provides the overall leadership and management of the work of the CBF Foundation and CBF’s fund development strategies.

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Shauw Chin is passionate about walking alongside churches and individuals to help them best use God’s resources to fund the work of the Great Commission and the Great Commandment now and into the future. In her role leading the CBF Foundation, she helps churches to plan and manage permanent financial support for their ministries and needs, and also seeks to equip congregations to cultivate legacy gifts among their members. With deep Baptist roots, Shauw Chin came to faith as a result of the work of Baptist missionaries in Singapore. An experienced nonprofit leader and social worker, she is a graduate of Baylor University and the Carver School of Social Work (Master of Church Social Work).

Shauw Chin describes herself as a “huge foodie” and loves to travel, cook and watch a good movie (preferably one that makes her laugh or takes her to a different world).

She joined the staff in March 2020.

Jason Coker

President, Together for Hope


Jason leads Together for Hope, CBF’s rural development coalition which focuses on the 301 counties of persistent rural poverty in the United States and has four priorities of hope: education, health & nutrition, housing & environment, and social enterprise.

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Jason is passionate about alleviating poverty and racism. He grew up in poverty in the Mississippi Delta and says that has always been a filter for his academic and ecclesiastical work. A graduate of Drew University where earned his Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy, he is a former senior pastor. In hindsight, Jason feels like he’s been preparing for his job connecting churches and people to places where they can serve God and learn from locals about the best ways to work toward peace and wellbeing his whole life. He also serves as the field coordinator of CBF Mississippi.

Jason’s favorite books include The Hate U Give, Gilead and The Grapes of Wrath. In addition to reading, he enjoys running, biking, writing, traveling, hiking and camping.

He joined the CBF staff in July 2016.

Jenine Crew

Staff Accountant


Jenine serves the CBF finance team in Accounts Payable and processes the payment of invoices and expense reports as well as payments for contractors, partners and the CBF Volunteer Travel Fund.

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Jenine is passionate about being able to issue payments that support CBF programs in the United States and around the world, serving churches and individuals by issuing payments that are collected from churches and individuals and sending them to organizations, CBF programs, and partners that they support.

Jenine enjoys watching movies and listening to music in her spare time.

She joined the CBF staff in June 2016.

LaToya Cross

Human Resources Manager


LaToya is responsible for the overall administration, coordination and evaluation of the human resource function for CBF.

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With a Master’s of Business Administration and as a certified Human Resources Professional, LaToya is passionate about helping to fulfill to the needs of CBF staff and constituents in her role. She is always striving to lead and direct the routine functions of the Human Resources (HR) area in a manner that promotes collaboration and quality relationships.

LaToya enjoys baking (especially cobbler) and watching movies, as well as traveling to the beach with friends and family.

She joined the CBF staff in March 2015.

Sharon Kirkpatrick Felton

Congregational Advocacy Manager


Sharon works with congregations, states and regions to develop and enhance advocacy efforts within their communities. She is passionate about working towards justice for all neighbors. She aims to learn what churches are already doing to love their neighbor and further expand those efforts. Sharon hopes to encourage churches to see their role in advocacy and help them engage in justice work in their communities.

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She serves CBF by learning what churches, states and regions are doing in advocacy and connecting them. Sharon will discover the issues impacting communities to help educate and develop means for CBF to advocate for the most vulnerable neighbors.

Sharon previously worked in Kentucky and Texas advocating for public education and payday lending reform. It was from here that she saw racial injustices that need to be addressed. She is a graduate of Baylor University with a BA in psychology and her M.Div. from Southwestern Baptist Theology Seminary.

She enjoys travel, dinner with friends and cheering on the Dallas Cowboys, Baylor Bear and Texas Rangers.

Sharon joined the CBF staff in December 2023.

Katie Fletcher

Director of Programs and Partnerships, Together for Hope Black Belt


Katie develops and facilitates partnerships between Together For Hope Black Belt, their coalition members, and strategic partners. She also helps maintain and expand TFH Black Belt's programming, through grant, campaign, and project management.

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She is passionate about participating with others in making sure that rural America is comprised of thriving communities. She loves being able to serve Cooperative Baptists through Asset Based Community Development training that can be used both locally and globally.

Katie is a graduate of Mississippi College where she earned her Bachelor of Social Work and the University of Alabama where she earned her Master of Social Work. Katie loves painting, reading, yoga, and going on trips with her husband and friends.

Katie joined the CBF staff in December of 2022.

Brian Foreman

Coordinator of Congregational Ministries


Brian gives attention to the work of the Fellowship and its partnerships to create and curate resources for congregations, and provides oversight to how CBF creates thriving congregations and a culture of inviting and equipping leaders.

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With three decades of experience related to congregations as staff and support, he combines his theological, leadership and community engagement education with the practical experience of serving congregations, and he is most passionate about seeing individuals and congregations transform their communities through the invitation God has given them to join in God's work. A key way Brian serves churches is through a ministry that builds a platform for congregations to equip one another for the unique challenges and opportunities of being church in their respective contexts.

Brian received his BA in Religion and Christian Ministries from Campbell University, a Master of Religious Education from Duke University Divinity School and a Doctorate in Education Leadership from the University of North Carolina – Charlotte. In his free time, he enjoys stand-up paddleboarding, reading, walking his dog Caicos with his wife Denise, traveling, live music, and watching far too many sports and baking shows.

Brian joined the CBF staff in July 2022.

Rob Fox

President, CBF Church Benefits


Rob serves as the President of CBF Church Benefits, which serves ministers, church staff, congregations and CBF partner organizations with retirement and insurance benefits.

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Rob loves to work with ministers and church staff members as they live into their calling to ministry, and to help them to develop personal and financial plans for their future. He has served as an executive administrator and financial professional with two seminaries, and as field coordinator of CBF Virginia before becoming President of CBF Church Benefits. He also served in pastoral roles with five churches, and as a CBF-endorsed chaplain during his 25-plus years of ministry. He attended the University of Mary Washington and holds a certificates in Fundraising and Development, as well as Grant Writing and Management.

Rob enjoys getting outdoors, traveling to the beach and kayaking, fishing and drinking coffee with friends.

He joined the CBF Church Benefits staff in April 2018.

Panina Golston

Office Manager


Panina works to orchestrate and streamline daily administrative operations while overseeing staff to ensure a cohesive work environment and efficient management of resources. She plays a pivotal role in reviewing data entries, handling communication and implementing policies to optimize the overall productivity of the CBF office. She is passionate about creating and maintaining an organized, functional, harmonious work environment.

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Panina has a nursing degree from Albany State University, a Marketing & Advertising certification from Pinnacle Careers Institute, a certification in Operations and Project Management from LinkedIn and Data Analytics certification from Coursera.

She enjoys doing yoga, listening to R&B music and reading science fiction and mystery novels.

Panina joined CBF April 2019.

Adam Granger

Strategic Engagement Officer


If we are trying to re-think something or start something, Adam helps CBF ask questions, gather data, synthesize information and build plans for the organizations future impact.

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Adam enjoys running, reading and a variety of musical styles from jazz to folk to hip-hop — tastes that shift depending on what he’s up to at the time, but he’s always up for something new.

He joined the staff in March 2019.

Carrie Harris

Director of Fellowship Experiences


Carrie works across the staff and alongside state and regional organizations, churches, and partners, to coordinate experiences, including events and particularly General Assembly, with an eye toward delivering compelling experiences that invite members of our Fellowship into relationships of mutual equipping as we seek God’s transformation in the world.

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With a background in theatre arts and a Master of Divinity from Candler School of Theology at Emory University, Carrie brings a unique and collaborative spirit alongside theological language. Her passion is to reach Cooperative Baptists where they are through CBF events and experiences—inviting them deeper into the CBF family, equipping them through engaging conversations and resources, and transforming together as we continue to be led by the Holy Spirit and center ourselves in Christ’s call to be the church that welcomes all.

When Carrie isn’t planning experiences, she enjoys her work with Main Street Theatre in Tucker, Ga., watching Gilmore Girls (again!) and eating fun snacks at Walt Disney World.

She joined the CBF staff in October 2014.

Lindsi Hines

Director of Member Care and Wellness


Lindsi Hines directs the program that cares for the mental and emotional health and wellbeing of field personnel, Global Service Corps personnel and their families. She leads a team of mental health professionals who volunteer their services to the CBF Global Missions personnel..

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Lindsi is passionate about creating and implementing structures that help CBF care well and meaningfully for its Global Missions personnel. Lindsi has been leading and developing our Member Care and Wellness program for the past five years. That experience along with her previous work have provided her with skills that have proven useful in implementing new structures and processes, in nurturing healthy teams and relationships and in the sacred ministry of presence.

Lindsi comes to us with a wealth of knowledge and experience, having two B.A.s from Meredith College, one in Social Work and one in Psychology. She also has two graduate degrees: an M.Div. with two concentrations in Counseling & Chaplaincy and Theology & Ethics from Campbell University Divinity School as well as an M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Campbell University School of Education and Human Sciences.

She is a National Certified Counselor, a Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist, a Certified Clinical Supervisor, and also holds a Certificate in English-French Translation from L’Universite de la Sorbonne in Paris.

Lindsi loves to travel (especially to France), garden, cook, and is a big fan of college basketball!

She joined the CBF staff in October of 2017.

Jeff Huett

Associate Coordinator for Identity and Communications


Jeff leads the strategic communications, public relations, marketing and identity-building work of the Fellowship to connect the passions of Cooperative Baptists with the ministries and mission of CBF, and also serves as co-chair of the annual General Assembly and leads the team that produces CBF Gathering, our weekly program on Facebook and YouTube.

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Jeff is a journalism and business administration graduate of Baylor University and earned a Master of Arts in Media and Public Affairs from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. In his work at CBF, he leads a team that tells stories of ministry passion and impact to build ever-stronger connections between people, churches and partners across the Fellowship. The team also creates meaningful opportunities for the Fellowship community to learn from each other through the sharing of stories, ideas and gathering together.

He has served as editor-in-chief of The Baylor Lariat and communications director of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty in Washington. Jeff is a fan of the 2019 World Series Champion Washington Nationals, but even more than the Nats, loves reading, playing tennis and baseball with his son, and watching movies with his wife.

He joined the CBF staff in June 2013.

Kasey Jones

Associate Coordinator for Outreach and Growth


Kasey engages with churches and individuals to invite partnership with CBF. Additionally, her work includes working with congregations to engage in diversity, equity, inclusion and racial justice ministry efforts.

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In her work to help grow the Fellowship’s impact, Kasey is most passionate about working directly with churches and individuals to make meaningful connections to do kingdom work together. Prior to joining the CBF staff in October 2017, Kasey served as a senior pastor in Washington, D.C. for 12 years, and also worked previously as a community organizer. She earned an Master of Divinity from Wesley Theological Seminary and Bachelors of Arts from Howard University. In her CBF role, she combines her ministry and community organizing experiences, as she engages partners on behalf of CBF and building relationships that are resources for our churches.

Kasey is a huge fan of the Chicago link-up of Chicago Med, Fire & PD on television and enjoys “good” ice cream.

She joined the CBF staff in October 2017.

Jay Kieve

Abuse Prevention and Response Advocate & Director of Ministerial Transitions


Jay is CBF's Abuse Prevention and Response Advocate and is the Fellowship’s point person for connecting churches to resources for the prevention of clergy sexual abuse and clergy sexual misconduct. He also serves to connect gifted ministers and passionate congregations across the Fellowship.

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Jay works alongside the Clergy Sexual Misconduct Task Force and CBF-partner GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment), supporting congregations seeking prevention training, developing abuse prevention policies and establishing a culture that protects children and vulnerable adults from abuse. Additionally, Jay is available to support survivors of clergy sexual abuse, including receiving allegations and recommending church response.

A graduate of Duke Divinity School (M.Div. and Th.M.) and Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond (D.Min.), Jay was honored with BWIM’s Frankie Huff Granger Outstanding Mentor award in 2019. Jay enjoys sewing and hiking in his free time. He and his wife Melanie have been married for 30 years and have two adult children.

Jay joined the CBF Global staff in April 2021 and has served as Coordinator of CBF of South Carolina since 2013.

Colin Kroll

Young Adults Ministry Manager


Colin serves as the Young Adults Ministry Manager with CBF. He works to address the needs of young adults in CBF churches and help congregations engage with them. He provides resources for churches to understand the young adults in their congregations and their communities as partners in ministry and service. Colin is able connect young adults to resources, experiences and opportunities that provide deeper connections to their sense of calling.

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Colin has a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Ministry and Masters of Divinity from Campbell University, and was ordained by Cane Creek Baptist Church in Hillsborough, North Carolina.

Colin is found visiting state parks, local restaurants and coffee shops with his wife, Sarah and their twins Axel and Luna.

Lauren Lamb

Marketing & Communications Manager


Lauren works with the CBF Communications and Identity team in editing, planning, and formatting fellowship! magazine, newsletters, email campaigns and news updates. She is also the associate editor for the General Assembly guidebook and helps in content creation, planning and copyediting.

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Lauren loves using stories from the CBF family about their work in congregations, missions, chaplaincy and seminaries to share how God is working in the world. She keeps CBF congregations informed and equipped with necessary resources so that they are growing both within their walls and throughout the world. Her experience in journalism gave her skills that help fulfill that call and need in ministry for communication that she has found is necessary to maintain a healthy congregation.

She is a graduate of Auburn University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and received her Master of Divinity from Mercer University's McAfee School of Theology.

Lauren enjoys hiking with her husband, reading a good book on her Kindle, and of course cheering on the Auburn Tigers in any sport!

She joined the staff in October 2022

Jeff Langford

Graphic Designer & Webmaster


Jeff works alongside the CBF Communications and Identity team on all things graphic design. He is the CBF webmaster and website designer and is an author and creator for missions education resources. He also serves as coordinator of CBF Heartland.

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With a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Central Missouri and Master of Arts from Purdue University, Jeff approaches his work from a layperson's perspective, which he finds helpful in his work with congregations and ministers. Jeff is passionate about helping churches find solutions to problems they are facing through relationships and resources. Through his multiple roles, he is able to form deep relationships while also providing practical and tangible resources.

When not updating the website, interacting with congregations or creating a new logo, Jeff enjoys hanging out with friends, listening to podcasts, doing crossword puzzles and teaching Sunday School.

Jeff joined the CBF Global staff in January 2021. He has served as Coordinator for CBF Heartland since 2015.

Caroline LeGrand

Missions Communications Specialist


Caroline provides communications support to the Global Missions Team by developing a communications strategy for Global Missions programs. She helps tell the stories of CBF field personnel and the churches that partner with and support those field personnel.

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Caroline is passionate about collaborating with a diverse group of people in CBF life. She enjoys being able to serve by being a facilitator between CBF programs, churches, and a wider audience of those that would like to know more about CBF. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Furman University with a major in Music and a minor in Latin American Studies. She also attended Mercer University's McAfee School of Theology where she received her Master of Divinity.

Caroline loves singing, playing guitar, exploring coffee shops and playing with her two cats, Roo and Ellie.

She joined the staff in October 2022.

Grace Martino-Suprice

Baptist Fellowship NE Coordinator/CBF Specialist


Grace seeks to cultivate engagement and partnerships with individuals, organizations and churches new to CBF, and also works within Familia, CBF’s Latino Network, to ensure the growth and belonging of Latinx persons within the Fellowship.

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Grace is a bridge builder serving those new to CBF and those who have been around a while by connecting them to all CBF has to offer. A graduate of Gordon College with a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Ministries and Sociology, Grace loves to connect individuals from different backgrounds to create partnerships for God’s work together. Nourishing and forming relationships with churches is at the core of her work, and she works to make CBF feel like home to all Cooperative Baptists.

Grace loves listening to music, especially alternative and Latin pop, dancing and watching movies with her friends. She also loves to travel back to Puerto Rico.

She joined the staff in August 2018.

Dianne McNary

Offering for Global Missions Advocate


Dianne promotes the Offering for Global Missions by resourcing churches with materials and sharing stories from our Field Personnel to emphasize the importance of long term presence.

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Having previously served as Field Personnel in Slovakia and Czechia for over 19 years Dianne is honored and excited to continue to support the long term presence and ministry of our field personnel around the world.

As an advocate for the Offering for Global Missions, she has the opportunity to invite Cooperative Baptists to partner with our field personnel in their ministries as they support their presence around the globe. Her long term service makes Dianne uniquely qualified to share about life on the field and her nursing background brings an important way of looking at situations with the ability to plan effectively and execute those plans based on the current context.

Dianne is a graduate of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She has a love for reading, sewing, crafting and cooking.

Dianne joined CBF as Field Personnel in 2004, she has been a part of the CBF Global staff since August, 2023.

Dihanne Moore

Executive Assistant/Project Specialist


Dihanne provides collaborative leadership to the important work of CBF's Young Baptist Ecosystem and its collaborative team. She also offers support in our Church Starts initiative and will manage the design and development of our Thriving Congregations Initiative in partnership with the Director of Thriving Congregations.

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Additionally, she provides administrative management and support to CBF's Governance bodies and works collaboratively with the staff team that produces content for the weekly CBF Gathering program on Facebook and YouTube.

Dihanne loves working in a supportive role to help others realize their greatest potential. She earned a Master of Divinity degree from McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University and a Master of Project Management degree from Keller School of Management at DeVry University. In her work, she supports a varying initiatives that permeate throughout the Fellowship.

In her spare time, Dihanne enjoys crafting, watching “how to” videos on YouTube and managing her jewelry and t-shirt business.

She joined the CBF staff in August 2015.

Jim Morrison

Grant and Project Manager, CBF Church Benefits


Jim is the Grant and Project Manager for CBF Church Benefits, focusing on financial wellness and education through Church Benefits' Financial Wellness Initiative.

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Jim’s passion is helping ministers and lay employees improve their financial wellness by assisting with church employee benefits. He has a Master of Business Administration from Jacksonville State University, and Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Southern Seminary, which allow him to connect with individuals and churches with both a pastoral mindset and business lens.

In his free time, Jim enjoys listening to jazz music, reading, exercising and getting fresh air on the golf course.

He joined the CBF Church Benefits staff in April 2020.

Rubén Ortiz

Latino Field Ministries Coordinator


Rubén advances the mission and identity of CBF and the purpose and goals of diversity through Latino Ministries, serving as the primary contact with CBF’s Latino congregations and partners and providing leadership to Familia, CBF’s Latino Network. ‬‬‬

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A graduate in Christian communications from HCJB in Quito, Ecuador, Rubén has served as a pastor for more than two decades as well as a spiritual director and journalist. In his role with CBF, he serves as consultant, advisor, resources facilitator and promotes the wellbeing of congregations and pastors. A crucial aspect of his ministry is to coordinate the integration of churches to the life of CBF state and regional organizations and networks.

Rubén loves a variety of musical styles, including classical, chorale, jazz and jazz Latino. He also enjoys reading, spending time with family and travel.

He joined the staff in October 2017.

Renée Owen

Director of Chaplaincy and Pastoral Counseling


Renée oversees the chaplaincy and pastoral counseling ministries endorsement process, including coaching and mentoring seminary students and ministers through the process as well as providing ongoing professional and emotional/spiritual support to our endorsed chaplains and pastoral counselors, serving as a “chaplain to the chaplains.”

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Renée also provides continuing education opportunities for growth and expansion of their knowledge of the newest developments in the spiritual and pastoral care field. A graduate of Duke Divinity School (Master of Divinity), her passion for chaplaincy and pastoral counseling is found in that it has given her the opportunity for the past 20 years to journey with patients, families, and healthcare staff through sacred times in their lives in moments of celebration and in grief. In her current role, Renée focuses on journeying with our CBF-endorsed chaplains and pastoral counselors to hearing, honoring, and uplifting their stories as they continue the sacred ministry of offering emotional support and spiritual care to persons in need in diverse specialized settings around the country and throughout our world. Prior to entering chaplaincy, she spent over five years serving in local CBF-affiliated churches in associate minister roles.

In her spare time, Renée enjoys most any outdoor activity, watching movies with her husband, Tommy, and playing with their 35-pound black lab mix rescue, Coco.

She joined the CBF staff in August 2020.

Javier Perez

Director of Global Missions Programs & Impact


Javier provides strategic direction for Global Missions programs and strengthens organizational impact in accordance with CBF’s mission distinctives.

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With a Master of Public Administration from the University of Texas RGV and a Master of Divinity from International Baptist Theological Seminary in Colombia, Javier brings a unique background to the Global Missions team. He also brings a former focus on liberation theology in Colombia, where he experienced causes of poverty and injustice firsthand, as well as experience working cross-culturally with Buckner International. Javier is passionate about uprooting structural causes of poverty and injustice while connecting CBF churches to Kingdom initiatives around the globe that provide the greatest impact return for all investments.

Javier joined the staff in February 2021.

Casey Ramirez

Director of Information Technology and Digital Innovation


Casey manages the IT infrastructure and equipment for the CBF Global office, ensuring that all staff members and field personnel can perform their work and ministries successfully.

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He is most passionate about helping to equip and empower others to do their jobs well. Casey brings experience from the IT and AV departments at Baylor University for nearly eight years, as well as experience serving as CBF field personnel in China. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Film and Digital Media from Baylor University and his M.Div. from Truett Theological Seminary.

As a new Atlanta resident, Casey is enjoying trying new recipes with his smoker and has been practicing the craft of cooking delicious meats.

He joined the CBF office staff in March 2022.

Charlie Reynolds

Associate Endorser for Military Chaplaincy


Charlie provides professional and personal support to CBF-endorsed military chaplains and chaplain candidates, and also assists with planning and implementation of CBF Chaplaincy and Pastoral Counseling events and initiatives. He is passionate about opening avenues of ministry between CBF chaplaincy and CBF congregations.

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Charlie served as a military chaplain for 28 years. Before becoming a chaplain, he held numerous ministry roles including pastor, missionary, church starter and youth minister. He holds degrees from Golden Gate Seminary (Master of Divinity, Doctor of Ministry), Princeton Theological Seminary (Masters in World Religion).

Charlie enjoys grandparenting, golf and watching The Amazing Race. He also likes listening to all kinds of music and reading biographies.

He joined the CBF staff in May 2021.

Melissa Rodriguez

Development Specialist


Melissa is the development specialist with daily administrative support as well as planning and implementation of events.

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She is passionate about building new relationships with Cooperative Baptists and strengthening existing relationships through communication and fellowship. Through her role, Melissa serves churches and individuals by promoting impactful events that will leave a positive impact that can be shared within congregations and communities. She also provides support to streamline communications and marketing to Cooperative Baptists.

Melissa also serves as the Administration Assistant for CBF of Florida, where she has provided similar support on a state organization scale since 2016.

Outside the office, Melissa loves to visit Florida's state parks and walk the trails with her son as he searches for his dream pet—a two-headed turtle.

Ellen Sechrest

Director of Mission Engagement


Ellen helps CBF congregations develop deeper connections to the Fellowship and our field personnel through missions, partnerships and engagement.

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Through her work with the Encourager Church Program, Missions Portfolio Assessment and Mission Leaders Network, Ellen is most passionate about connecting with churches and growing mission engagement alongside CBF. Ellen received her B.S. from Mars Hill College and her M.Div. from Southern Seminary before serving in congregations for over 30 years.

When she’s not building relationships between churches and field personnel, Ellen is always entertaining. She loves to cook and travel and, if she could, she would always be working from the beach.

Ellen joined the CBF staff in February 2019.

Rachel Gunter Shapard

Regional Vice President - Black Belt
Together for Hope


Rachel coordinates the work of Together for Hope, CBF’s rural development coalition, in the Black Belt Region which includes counties of persistent poverty in Alabama, Carolinas, Georgia, Florida and Virginia.

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Rachel understands that enacting community development in a way that honors the innate gifts and beauty that exist in individuals and communities is both challenging and rewarding. In her role, she and her Together for Hope colleagues walk with rural communities as well as their CBF family to bring about further understanding of the complex, slow, organic nature of the asset-based method of community transformation. “A stronger more sustainable Rural America is possible if we work together,” according to Rachel. She is a graduate of Florida State University and Mercer University’s McAfee School of Theology (Master of Divinity) with an emphasis in Christian education.

Rachel enjoys spending time outdoors with her family hiking and going to the beach. She loves folk music, especially the Indigo Girls, and visiting Asheville, N.C.

Keith Stillwell

Regional Vice President - Appalachia
Together for Hope


Keith serves with Together for Hope, CBF’s rural development coalition, to help alleviate poverty through assets-based community development in the 57 counties of persistent poverty in the Appalachia region.

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With a focus on the four priorities of hope (education, housing & environment, health & nutrition, and social enterprise), he works with CBF field personnel and ministry partners in Appalachia to build an ever-growing coalition of faith-based, government, nonprofit, business organizations and individuals who share these priorities. A graduate of Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, Keith’s Doctor of Ministry project was based on the command to love God with all of your heart, mind, soul and strength, and your neighbor as yourself, along with the Parable of the Good Samaritan. He has taken that passage as his core mission.

Keith enjoys spending time with his wife, Dianne, and running, cycling, swimming, gardening and laying in his hammock.

He joined the staff of Together for Hope in February 2019.

Derric Stinchcomb

IT Manager


Derric manages the day-to-day operation, maintenance, support and improvement of the IT environment for CBF. He also educates, trains, and orients users to raise the understanding of IT systems and manage related projects. Derric is passionate about being able to efficiently resolve technical issues.

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He serves CBF by proactively maintaining the IT infrastructure and keeping all technical systems up and running. He serves churches in his role by bridging the knowledge gap between technology and usability.

Derric enjoys playing and coaching basketball and other outdoor activities like fishing, hunting, and hiking. He also loves cheering on his favorite team, the Atlanta Braves!

Derric received his Bachelor of Science in Information Technology from Kennesaw State University.

He joined the CBF staff in July 2023.

Leah Tripp

Digital Strategy Specialist


Leah serves as the Digital Strategy Specialist with CBF. She works to utilize digital strategy and media to amplify CBF’s voice through online programs. Leah plays a role in storytelling and thinking of creative ways to engage with CBF’s communities. She brings attention to the transformative work of local churches through stories, social media and other digital media.

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She is using digital media and strategy to present a unified voice that communicates CBF’s values, mission and vision.

Leah received her Bachelor of Arts from Campbell University in Communication and English Literature. She continued her education at James Madison University, getting her Master of Arts in Communication and Advocacy with a Concentration in Strategic Comms.

In her free time, Leah enjoys writing, playing music and taking her dog Charlie on long walks.

Aaron Weaver

Director of Communications


Aaron directs the daily communications efforts of CBF as editor of fellowship! magazine and the CBFblog as well as shepherding the storytelling work and leading news coverage of the Fellowship’s missions and ministries.

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Aaron has a special passion for sharing the stories of Cooperative Baptists living out their faith through global missions, disaster recovery and advocacy. In his multi-faceted role, he oversees CBF’s web and social media presence and innovative CBF Conversations faith & culture series and provides leadership to the award-winning CBF Podcast. Aaron is the co-founder of the CBF Environmental Stewardship Network and represents CBF on the Religious Freedom and Baptist Heritage & Identity commissions of the Baptist World Alliance. He is a graduate of the University of Georgia (Bachelor of Arts, Political Science) and Baylor University (Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy in Religion and Politics). He is also the author of several books and an adjunct professor at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology where he teaches Baptist history and theology.

Aaron enjoys hiking, kayaking and riding bikes with his wife and three children. He is a big fan of Baylor basketball and football, Dan Le Batard Show podcast, wasting time on Twitter, and nostalgic for 1990s baseball.

Victoria Garces Whatley

Finance and Operations Manager


Victoria is Operations Manager for CBF Church Benefits and serves Cooperative Baptists by overseeing the daily operations of retirement, insurance, and other value-added services for employers and participants.

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Victoria focuses her energies on top-notch customer service to congregations as well as clergy and lay leaders, and assists in navigating members' concerns regarding life and disability insurance and retirement plans. A graduate of Saint Elizabeth College with a degree in business administration, Victoria added to her professional education with certificates in project management, financial accounting and international business.

A bilingual speaker, Victoria enjoys traveling to Colombia to visit family, and she loves listening and dancing to all Spanish music.

Carrol Wilson

Chaplaincy and Pastoral Counseling Specialist


Carrol guides, assists and maintains chaplains and pastoral counselors through every aspect of their endorsement process, and also facilitates conversations and education about diversity and inclusion within CBF and on behalf of CBF’s Pan African Koinonia.

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Carrol believes that learning how to represent the presence of Christ through difficult times is foundational for chaplaincy work of any kind. She is most passionate about assisting people in making connections and building relationships, including when she is able to connect CBF-endorsed chaplains and pastoral counselors to help meet the needs of families in crisis across the Fellowship. Carrol also lends her voice and life experiences in conversations on diversity and inclusion within CBF. She is a graduate of Emory University’s Candler School of Theology (Master of Divinity).

In her spare time, Carrol likes to read, crochet or knit, cook meals for her family, cheer on University of Kentucky basketball and be “Ga-Ga” to her young grandson.

She joined the staff in August 2015.

Zulma Zabala-Rivera

Global Mission Executive Assistant


Zulma works to provide executive support to the Global Missions Coordinator, Rev. Laura Ayala. She will be able to serve churches by providing information and coordinating support regarding mission endeavors. She serves as the primary point of contact for constituents on all matters relating to the Global Mission Department and will be able to serve CBF in the fulfillment of their call to missions both locally and globally.

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Zulma is a graduate from the University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras Campus with a BA in Arts. She has a public relations certification from the University of Sacred Heart, a certification in Disaster Relief Training focused on administration, assessment and logistics from NC Baptist on Mission and a Certification in Entrepreneurship for Women from the Fundación para Puerto Rico.

Zulma enjoys baking, reading and writing a daily devotional. She can be found traveling anywhere with an ocean view.

Zulma joined CBF in November 2023.