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2009-10 BCA History


  • Board Meetings:
    • July 27, 2009, Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile, Chicago, Illinois
    • September 21, 2009, Georgia Baptist Convention, Atlanta, Georgia
    • February 8, 2010, LifeWay Christian Resources, Nashville, Tennessee
  • 56th Annual Workshop:
    • April 6–10, 2010, Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile, Chicago, Illinois


  • President: Jennifer Rash, The Alabama Baptist
  • President-Elect: Bill Bangham, International Mission Board
  • Program Vice President: Mark Kelly, Baptist Press
  • Program Vice President-Elects: Tim Yarbrough and Mike Ebert, North American Mission Board
  • Membership Vice President: Deanne Carter, Florida Baptist Convention
  • Missions Vice President: Stacey Hamby, Pleasant Valley Baptist Church, Kansas City
  • Professional Development Coordinator: Brenda Smith, Kentucky Baptist Convention
  • Treasurer: Keith Hinson, Alabama State Board of Missions
  • Communications Vice President: Kelly Durham, Georgia Baptist Convention
  • Awards Chairman: Julie McGowan, Oklahoma Baptist University
  • Historian: Cam Tracy, Union University
  • Administrative Coordinator: Margaret Dempsey-Colson


Close to 60 Baptist communicators joined religious communicators from throughout the world for RCCongress 2010 in Chicago. BCA held its annual workshop in conjunction with the once-a-decade event. The theme for the event was "Embracing Change: Communicating Faith in Today's World."

Gathering from 14 states, BCA members kicked off the annual workshop on Tuesday evening, April 6, with an authentic Chicago-style hot dog dinner and a trolley tour of the Windy City. The rest of the week was packed with workshops, business sessions, forums and idea-sharing. One new feature this year was the use of online conferences. BCAers were able to dialogue virtually with Ronnie Floyd, chairman of the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force; they also learned practical tips from virtual presenters Brad Abare and Michael Buckingham affiliated with the popular blog, "Church Marketing 'Stinks.'"


  • Arthur S. Davenport Award for Exceptional Achievement in Public Relations:
    Phyllis Evans & Institutional Advancement Team of Golden Gate Theological Seminary for "Golden Gate Seminary Celebrates 50 Years on Strawberry Point"
  • Diane Reasoner Award for Exceptional Achievement in Interactive Communications:
    Justin Garcia of the Office of Public Relations at Mississippi College for "Mississippi College Crowing the Vision Web Site"
  • M.E. Dodd Award for Exceptional Achievement in Audio-Visual Communications:
    Jim Edminson of Baptist Children's Homes of North Carolina for "Roberta's Story"
  • Fon H. Scofield Award for Exceptional Achievement in Publication Photography:
    Kristen Nicole Sayres of International Mission Board for "Getting High: Life on the Streets of Nairobi"
  • Frank Burkhalter Award for Exceptional Achievement in News Writing:
    Norman Jameson of Biblical Recorder, Inc. for "Wells in Bihar Launch Churches of Living Water"
  • Leonard Holloway Award for Exceptional Achievement in Feature Writing:
    Joe Westbury of The Christian Index for "The Fountain of Youth (May Be Closer Than You Think)"
  • Albert McClellan Award for Exceptional Achievement in Print Media and Design:
    Office of Marketing & Public Relations of University of Mary Hardin-Baylor for "UMHB Office of Admissions Viewbook"

President's Observations

The newly elected BCA officers met for a few minutes following the April 2009 BCA workshop in Nashville and started in their roles almost immediately. This particular year brought with it several unusual aspects that would need extra attention.

First, the new administrative coordinator Margaret Dempsey-Colson had just been hired to fill the spot left vacant by the untimely death of longtime coordinator Keith Beene in November 2007. She had a learning curve ahead of her as well as a new slate of officers who normally relied on the coordinator to direct them. This year was going to be one where everyone would need to pull a little extra weight as we worked to figure it all out.

Second, because Keith Beene had run BCA pretty much single-handedly for so long, we discovered that there were areas where no one knew the appropriate information and even a BCA bank account that was now frozen because it only had his information on it. We would spend a great deal of time dealing with red tape and going through records in the months ahead.

Third, the workshop that would culminate at the end of our reign as officers was to be held in conjunction with the once-a-decade RCCongress in Chicago. Mark Kelly served as program vice president and Jennifer Rash's role as BCA president put her automatically on the RCCongress board, so she was more involved in the program than is typically required of the president.

With these three issues in front of them, the 2009-2010 BCA officers may have set a record for the most meetings in one year. The full officer board held the traditional September and February meetings, but they also added a July meeting at the site of the workshop in Chicago. We used online conferencing for the first time for the officers' meetings for those who could not attend in person. Jennifer and Mark met several times throughout the year to plan the workshop. Jennifer and Margaret met a few times to deal with administrative issues. Jennifer and Margaret also corresponded via phone and email several times a week.

By the end of the year, we had the BCA office organized and officially transferred over to Margaret. We also managed to unfreeze the extra bank account, have the money transferred out to a new BCA account and close the old account. And almost every officer managed to take ownership of his or her responsibility and develop it with excellence.

Despite all that we had going on with the administrative side of BCA, we worked to build excitement for the BCA workshop in Chicago. We also added a few new aspects to the run up to workshop, such as daily email tips to prepare for the upcoming workshop, a new roommate finder system, collection of and promotion of giveaways such as iPods and a workshop fee for the following year.

During the workshop, we added a new officer position: awards chair-elect, announced the upcoming contest to select a new logo for BCA, introduced the idea of offering institutional memberships as well as individual memberships for BCA, discussed ways to better communicate with new members as well as how to protect IMB members with security concerns, streamlined the membership renewal process and discussed exploring a student conference partnership.

We also spent extra energy encouraging past members who had left BCA to come back and recruiting veteran Baptist communicators who had never joined BCA. We made great strides in both areas during the year.

The level of intensity spent evaluating, researching and working on BCA-related items during this year led the officer board to acknowledge the benefit of having a continuous study element taking place. So the officers proposed a new BCA Task Force that would consist of the immediate past president and three other members. It was approved and began April 10, 2010. The goal of the first task force was to dissect every section of BCA and make suggestions for how to improve every area. These suggestions would be presented to the next slate of officers for consideration. Funding was approved for two meetings during the following year. Jennifer would serve as chairperson and would recruit a leader during Keith Beene's time (David Winfrey), a lifetime member (Linda Lawson Still) and an up and coming member (Micah Carter). Russ Rankin also was recruited to be part of the original task force.

The plan for the task forces that would follow the original one would be led by the outgoing president and three people he or she recruited from BCA, not currently serving as officers. The outgoing president would select one particular project on which to focus and the task force would work to develop the project. They would do their work by phone, email and video conferencing throughout the year.