News service editor steps down. Greg Warner, who has been executive editor of Associated Baptist Press since 1991, informed the independent news service’s directors and staff he would be stepping down for medical reasons. Warner, 53, underwent his seventh spinal surgery since 2002 on Aug. 28. He has begun a 90-day sick leave that he expects to transition into permanent disability. The surgery—a fourth lumbar spinal fusion—was the latest of more than a dozen medical procedures Warner has undergone in an effort to relieve back pain that surfaced in 1998. Despite temporary improvements following some of the procedures, he said, his condition has degenerated to the point where he is in constant and significant pain requiring large doses of prescription painkillers.
Wilkinson named news service executive. Veteran Baptist communicator David Wilkinson has been named executive director for Associated Baptist Press. Wilkinson, who currently serves as development director for the Baylor University School of Social Work, will replace current ABP Executive Editor Greg Warner. The independent news service's directors unanimously approved Wilkinson for the position Sept. 8. On Oct. 1, he will assume the post, created as ABP's board revamped the agency's structure. The new structure divides news responsibilities from administration and development. Wilkinson's 30-year career includes service with the Baptist Sunday School Board, the Southern Baptist Convention Christian Life Commission, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, as well as Broadway Baptist Church in Fort Worth. Wilkinson earned a bachelor of arts degree from Oklahoma Baptist University and master of divinity and doctor of ministry degrees from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Former RTVC building sold. Chesapeake Energy Co. has purchased the 87,966-square-foot building that housed the former Southern Baptist Radio and Television Commission in Fort Worth. The SBC began its broadcast ministry with The Baptist Hour radio program in Atlanta in 1941. In 1955, the operation was moved to Texas, and its programming expanded to include television programs. The commission developed the American Christian Television System in the mid-1980s to try to increase market exposure, but soaring costs forced the commission to merge ACTS with another network. A major SBC reorganization, implemented in 1997, merged the RTVC with the Brotherhood Commission and Home Mission Board to create the North American Mission Board. NAMB shifted some RTVC work, primarily radio programming, to its Atlanta-area headquarters. NAMB streamlined the operation in 2004, reducing staff and cutting the budget by more than half. It cut radio production completely the following year.
American Baptist scholar dies. David Scholer, professor of New Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary, died Aug. 22 after a long struggle with cancer. He was 70. Scholer, an American Baptist, was a specialist in several areas of New Testament studies, including Gnosticism and second-century Christianity, but was perhaps best known for his contributions to studies on women in ministry. He taught at the California-based evangelical seminary 14 years. Scholer is survived by his wife, Jeannette; two children, Abigail Scholer Strazzabosco and Emily Scholer Hernandez; and three grandchildren.