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2010-11 BCA History


  • Board Meetings:
    • July 29, 2010, North American Mission Board, Atlanta, Georgia
    • September 17, 2010, North American Mission Board, Atlanta, Georgia
    • February 17, 2011, North American Mission Board, Atlanta, Georgia
  • 57th Annual Workshop:
    • April 27–30, 2011, North American Mission Board, Atlanta, Georgia


  • President: Bill Bangham, International Mission Board
  • President-Elect: Julie McGowan, Oklahoma Baptist University
  • Program Vice President: Tim Yarbrough (changed jobs and resigned in Dec. 2010) & Mike Ebert, North American Mission Board
  • Program Vice President-Elect: Rand Jenkins, Baptist General Convention of Texas
  • Membership Vice President: Stella Prather, Arkansas Baptist Children's Homes
  • Missions Vice President: Stacey Hamby, Pleasant Valley Baptist Church, Kansas City
  • Professional Development Coordinator: Brenda Smith, Kentucky Baptist Convention
  • Treasurer: Keith Hinson, Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions
  • Communications Vice President: Lauren Rodriguez, Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware
  • Awards Chairpersons: Jim Burton, North American Mission Board (retired in Nov. 2010); Julie McGowan, Oklahoma Baptist University; and Margaret Dempsey-Colson
  • Historian: Cam Tracy, Union University
  • Executive Director: Margaret Dempsey-Colson


It's strange for a person to write a wrap of a meeting they never attended. I stepped into the Marriott hotel off Windward Parkway in the north Atlanta suburb of Alpharetta exactly twice during BCA's annual meeting April 27-30, this year with the theme Creative Collision. The first came around 5:30 p.m. the first day to pick up my conference materials, the second three days later to attend the BCA business meeting as a new officer, with the conference coming to a close an hour or so after I showed up.

On staff as production editor for The Christian Index, I live only 45 minutes away from the hotel. My original plan was to drive back and forth to meetings and crash at least one night at BCA member Shawn Elledge's apartment. Those plans changed that first night of the conference as a herd of tornadoes trampled the Southeast.

Several fellow BCA members along with myself were called in to work covering the damage and resultant response from Baptist Disaster Relief teams rather than be with our colleagues. Jennifer Rash, managing editor for The Alabama Baptist, was among those who reported to duty and recently shared her experiences from those hectic days.

So, as those at the meeting enjoyed a screening of The Creature from the Black Lagoon (yes, offered in 3 Dimension) the first night I watched the storm track on TV as warning sirens blared in the distance.

Technology helped keep me connected, though. I began working Thursday morning on tornado coverage for The Index but at the same time was able to keep up with the BCA meeting through Twitter. Thanks to Kelly Hopkins, Sue Childress, Russ Rankin, Ashley Cunningham and others for posting.

My boss at The Index, Joe Westbury, led one of the immersion groups for that day and so I spoke with him by phone as they traveled to the town of Palmetto. Here, Joe's group would focus on writing in reporting on Clifton Dawkins, a minister who volunteers his time to perform funerals for those with little to nothing in this world. Other immersion groups focused on photography, converged media and public relations, the latter spending extensive time at the Atlanta headquarters of Chick-fil-A. Those who opted out of the immersion experiences had choices of workshops such as Integrating Web with Social Media, Marketable Me, and Why You Need to Build an App.

The quality of options created a conundrum for one attendee. (Let's assume this was the same for many others. Yeah, I know what assuming does, but I feel pretty safe here.)

"I attended the seminars dealing with social media," Judy Ramsey, Web site strategist for the South Carolina Baptist Convention, told me. "They were very informative and helpful. I'd like to have attended the Chick-fil-A immersion session; I wish I could have done both."

In an evaluation form, one participant in the photography immersion described it as the most helpful, significant workshop type event I've ever done.

Learning from your peers has always been a cornerstone of the annual meeting. Cunningham, attending her first BCA convention, loved the Affinity Group meetings.

"I LOVE, LOVE, LOVED the Affinity Group meetings! (See?) I wish we could have had more time with those in our field," she wrote me. "It was great to see others struggling with the same things I struggle with and hear how they deal with them.

"It was also great to hear from the 'veterans.' Their experience and wisdom had a HUGE impact on me!"

On Friday morning, members were introduced to the ministry of Cathy Palmer, who serves with her husband Tim in leading the Refugee Sewing Society. This ministry based in Clarkston, Ga., assists women who have survived genocide around the world to increase their trade skills through sewing.

After another round of workshops Friday morning. Groups headed into Atlanta for an artery-clogging lunch at The Varsity and sightseeing at the CNN Center, World of Coke, or Georgia Aquarium. I was busy taking photos of Disaster Relief workers but that's okay; I have children and by state law we're required to take them to the Aquarium before they turn four.

Friday night everyone gathered for the Wilmer C. Fields Awards banquet. Congrats to all those recognized! While I'm at it, thanks to Mike Ebert and everyone at the North American Mission Board who put in the grunt work to pull this together. The folks in Fort Worth already have a deeper appreciation for what it takes. Kudos also to our president, Julie McGowan, who pulled double-duty as president elect and awards chair in BCA's first year of open judging on awards.

As I said earlier, my only firsthand experience with fellow members came Saturday morning during breakfast and closing meeting followed by a short planning meeting with the incoming slate of officers. Though it was brief, the time was enough to remind me why I've loved being a part of BCA for the past five years. Every year I attend new relationships are built while established ones are strengthened. I've yet to come home without a stack of notes from seminars.

Written by Scott Barkley, Communications Vice President

Lifetime Members Inducted


  • Arthur S. Davenport Award for Exceptional Achievement in Public Relations:
    Barbara Denman and Public Relations Division of Florida Baptist Convention for "Hope Rises from Haiti's Ruins"
  • Diane Reasoner Award for Exceptional Achievement in Interactive Communications:
    Justin Garcia, Robby Followell, and Alecia Porch of Mississippi College for "Beacon Magazine Online"
  • M.E. Dodd Award for Exceptional Achievement in Audio-Visual Communications:
    K Brown of Baptist State Convention of North Carolina for "Clean Water for Bihar, India"
  • Fon H. Scofield Award for Exceptional Achievement in Publication Photography:
    Robert Rogers of Baylor University for "Out Into the World"
  • Frank Burkhalter Award for Exceptional Achievement in News Writing:
    Dianna L. Cagle of Biblical Recorder for "Closing Churches"
  • Leonard Holloway Award for Exceptional Achievement in Feature Writing:
    Tim Ellsworth of Union University for "A Broken Vessel Restored"
  • Albert McClellan Award for Exceptional Achievement in Print Media and Design:
    Commission Stories Tabloid Staff of International Mission Board for "Commission Stories Tabloid"

BCA Task Force

The first BCA Task Force began its role April 10, 2010, as soon as Jennifer moved into the immediate past president role. She recruited her team and explained the role, goal and needs so team members could be preparing in advance of the Sept. 20, 2010, meeting where they spent a day in Nashville.

The group spent time discussing how to develop a corporate membership structure that the BCA officers could take and tweak if needed and then propose to the full BCA body.

The group explored all online aspects of BCA's life and made a list of suggestions to propose to the BCA officers.

The group reviewed the BCA employee positions, responsibilities, etc., and offered suggestions for title changes, pay increases, etc. Again, these were given to the BCA officers.

The group looked at each BCA officer position and responsibility and made suggestions for possible updates, adaptations, etc.

The group discussed how to implement an every five-year health checkup for BCA and left this idea and the how-tos with the BCA officers for consideration.

Before the day wrapped up, each team member was given a specific area to evaluate and report on at the upcoming January task force meeting. One member worked on a suggested job description, title, etc., for the administrative coordinator. One member worked on a suggested edit and update of the BCA bylaws and policies, specifically correcting outdated language and adding the institutional (or corporate) membership option. One member studied ways to work with students through workshops, membership and award competitions. One member studied the role of BCA as we go forward and looked at how to be a year-round resource for its members, not just once a year at the workshop.

These four areas as well as the other information from the September meeting were developed into an extensive report that was presented to the BCA officers during their February meeting. The items related to the administrative coordinators' responsibilities, title, etc., and the bylaw and policy information went on to be approved by the full BCA. The remaining items were taken on for consideration and further evaluation by the next task force.