LOUISVILLE, Ky. (ABP) — Kentucky Baptists have tapped veteran denominational journalist Todd Deaton to become next editor of their historic newspaper, the Western Recorder.
Deaton, 45, has been managing editor of the Baptist Courier, newspaper of the South Carolina Baptist Convention, since 1996. Before that he was associate editor for the Biblical Recorder in North Carolina.
"Todd Deaton meets and exceeds all of our requirements that we set," Skip Alexander, chairman of an editor search committee told the Kentucky Baptist Mission Board. "We believe he is right for Kentucky Baptists."
Alexander, pastor of Campbellsville, Ky., Baptist Church, introduced Deaton as "a bridge-builder and an encourager."
Deaton pledged to "support wholeheartedly" ministries of the state convention carried out through the Cooperative Program, a unified budget that supports both the Southern Baptists Convention and affiliated state bodies.
He said he "would reflect traditional, conservative Southern Baptist" views on social issues like same-sex marriage, gambling and embryonic stem-cell research. He said he looks forward to showcasing Baptist work across the state.
"I would like to make Kentucky Baptists the main story," he said. "My personal belief is that the state Baptist paper is your paper."
His election marks Deaton's return to the news journal affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention. He worked three years as an intern for the newspaper while attending Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., in the 1980s.
Founded in 1826, the Western Recorder is the second-oldest Baptist newspaper in the nation. Only Georgia's Christian Index, which is four years older, predates it. The Western portion of the journal's name owes to the fact that, when the paper was founded, Kentucky was part of America's western frontier.
Today the Kentucky Baptist Convention claims 2,400 affiliated churches and a variety of ministry institutions.
Deaton replaces Trennis Henderson, who resigned last March after eight years as editor to become vice president of communications at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Ark.
A graduate of Furman University in Greenville, S.C., Deaton holds a master of divinity degree from Southern Seminary and expects to complete a doctor of education degree from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C., in May.
He expects to assume his new role in mid-January.