On June 1 Mark Marshall, left, will officially begin his position as Georgia Baptist assistant executive director. His former role as Church Strengthening lead strategist will be filled by Levi Skipper, right, who will also continue in his role as Evangelism catalyst on the Church Strengthening team. SCOTT BARKLEY/Index
DULUTH — Georgia Baptist Executive Director W. Thomas Hammond, Jr., has announced two high-level shifts in leadership, beginning June 1.
Mark Marshall, who currently serves as lead strategist in Church Strengthening, will move into the position of assistant executive director. Evangelism catalyst Levi Skipper will assume Marshall’s position in the Church Strengthening leadership role.
The moves were approved by the Georgia Baptist Convention Administration Committee last week.
In an email to GBMB staff, Hammond explained how the need for Marshall’s new role came about due to some previous departures.
“When I became Executive Director of the GBMB, I asked Larry Wynn to stay on as the Assistant Executive Director for at least two years. In late 2019 Larry shared with me that he felt led by the Lord to retire at year’s end,” said Hammond.
“Our plan was to leave the position open through 2020 to allow room for growth in other areas of our organization. Even though this vacancy would leave us thin at the Executive Leadership level, we believed it would work for a defined period of time.
“At the end of 2019 Steve Parr was offered the role of Associational Mission Strategist for the Gwinnett Metro Association. This was a great win for the association and for the state (Gwinnett is our most populated county) as they hired such a gifted and strategic leader. This additional loss created an even wider gap in fulfilling our administrative demands and responsibilities.”
Marshall had originally been asked to consider the vacant assistant executive director position beginning in the fall of 2020. As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, however, the need for more immediate support on the executive level became apparent. Due to a current hiring freeze, Hammond noted, Skipper will continue to serve dual roles as Church Strengthening lead strategist and Evangelism catalyst.
A Georgia native, Marshall last year joined the Georgia Baptist Mission Board in Church Strengthening following his pastorate at The Glade Church in Mt. Juliet, Tenn. and years with LifeWay Christian Resources. In his time at the GBMB he has worked in forming the five teams making up Church Strengthening – Discipleship, Evangelism, Missions, Next Gen, and Worship and Music. Skipper previously served as the longtime pastor of Concord Baptist Church in Clermont and was a recognized leader in evangelism strategies before joining the GBMB last year.
“These personnel moves will allow us to continue serving our churches and strategically move forward during this pandemic,” Hammond stated. “They will also better position us to complete our teams once we emerge from this challenging time.”
A previous version of this story incorrectly identified Skipper as pastor of Clermont Baptist Church in Concord.
Scott Barkley serves as editor of The Christian Index.