By Will Hall, Message Executive Editor
ALEXANDRIA, La. (LBM) — Jeff Ginn, pastor of the Istrouma Baptist Church in Baton Rouge, which has a campus in Ascension as well as a Hispanic congregation at the main campus, will be nominated for president of the Louisiana Baptist Convention during the 2019 annual meeting.
Kirk Jones, pastor of the Fellowship Church in Prairieville notified the Baptist Message, Oct. 3, of his intention to make the nomination because of Ginn’s “faithful service” as a pastor and his “heart for the Kingdom of God and the cooperative work of our Convention.”
The LBC annual meeting is scheduled to be held in the Alexandria Riverfront Center, Nov. 11-12.
STATEMENT OF SUPPORT
Jones noted that he has known Ginn since 2011, especially in Ginn’s role of nurturing Fellowship Church, a congregation that averages nearly 1,000 in worship attendance now.
“Istrouma was the sponsoring church of our church plant,” Jones told the Baptist Message. “Before Jeff arrived they had purchased property on our behalf and we had an agreement to pay them back when we were in the financial position to do so.
“About the time Jeff arrived, Fellowship had grown enough to start paying back the loan,” Jones explained. “When I reached out to Istrouma to set up payments, Jeff led the congregation to forgive our debt. That gift changed our future ability to reach more people, and has given us the mindset to help other churches to grow, too.”
BY THE NUMBERS
The database of the Annual Church Profile shows that under Ginn’s leadership the Istrouma Baptist Church in Baton Rouge has consistently supported cooperative missions and ministries, contributing 7 percent of undesignated receipts, nearly $400,000 in 2019, through the Cooperative Program, up from 2.2 percent in 2010, the year before Ginn arrived.
The congregation also gifted more than $41,000 in 2019 to the Baptist Association of Greater Baton Rouge as well as nearly $26,000 to the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering, another $83,000 to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and $19,193 to the Georgia Barnette State Mission Offering.
Istrouma Baptist Church averaged 2,047 in worship attendance last year and baptized 71 new believers.
Moreover, the congregation has witnessed 526 baptisms since 2011, while adding about 500 more worshippers, on average, each Sunday.
“I thank God for the cooperation that marks our network of churches,” Ginn told the Baptist Message. “I have experienced the power and fruit of that partnership first-hand as a pastor and missionary.
“As someone who has served as a state executive-director, I would love to come alongside Dr. Horn and be an encouragement to him in his new role,” he added. “God is at work in fresh ways. It is my prayer to help further that work by fostering our collaboration.”
Ginn earned the Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Divinity degrees from the Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Memphis, Tennessee, and his bachelor’s degree from the Blue Mountain College in Mississippi.
He has served as pastor with Istrouma (2011-present), as well as Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, Colonial Heights, Virginia, (2000-2008); and, Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, Ashland, Mississippi (1987-1990).
Likewise, he has extensive denominational service: executive director, Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia, Glen Allen, Virginia (2008-2011); director, Northeast Campus, Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary, Schenectady, New York (1997-2000); International Mission Board missionary, Cali, Colombia (1990-1997); Liberty University trustee (2008-2015); LBC Executive Board member (2011-2017); IMB trustee (2004-2008); SBC Committee on Committees (2002); adjunct professor, School of Divinity, Liberty University.
He also has taught in various capacities for Rockbridge Seminary, Springfield, Missouri; Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, Southern California campus; and, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, New York City campus.
He and his wife Nell (Nichols) have been married for 32 years and have three adult children: Anna, Joshua and Zachary.
Jones said he is excited at the possibility of Ginn serving as LBC president.
“He has the experience to help us understand the breadth of the work our Convention shares and to challenge us as pastors to lead our churches to fully participate in it.
“I believe Jeff’s experience will be helpful as he works with our executive director to lead our convention into a new era,” Jones added. “He leads with integrity and generosity. I look forward to the things God will accomplish through our Convention in the days ahead and I believe Jeff can be a large part of helping us reach higher goals.”