DALLAS—Craig Christina, pastor of Shiloh Terrace Baptist Church in Dallas, was elected as the next associate executive director of the Baptist General Convention of Texas.
The BGCT Executive Board approved Christina’s nomination by an electronic vote on Oct. 2 following the recommendation of a selection committee led by Executive Director David Hardage that included board Chair Dennis Young and BGCT President Michael Evans.
“It is with great confidence and excitement that we announce Dr. Craig Christina as the next associate executive director of Texas Baptists. After a careful review of all candidates, it was the sense of the committee that Dr. Christina would best be able to serve and lead us well into the future,” said Hardage. “Personally, I’m looking forward to serving with Dr. Christina. He is a great man, pastor, husband, father and Christ follower.”
Christina has been senior pastor of Shiloh Terrace Baptist Church in Dallas for 10 years. He will follow associate executive director Steve Vernon, who served in the position 11 years and will retire Jan. 2.
Endorsements of Christina
“Dr. Christina is the man for this very exciting time in the life of our convention,” said Evans, pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Mansfield. “He is a consummate professional and compassionate presence. Craig seems to be the kind of servant-leader that will assist Dr. Hardage and our entire team of denominational servants in fulfilling their call in assisting our churches in their providential assignments. I am enthusiastic about his answer to this call.”
In his role as associate executive director, Christina will plan, direct and administer the integrated operational activities of BGCT in accordance with the priorities and policies developed by the executive director and BGCT Executive Board. He also will work to ensure the accomplishment of goals, objectives and strategies in the most effective and cost-efficient manner.
“Dr. Christina understands the BGCT, has served on several BGCT committees and has an undergrad degree in business, as well as fund-raising experience,” said Young, pastor of Missouri City Baptist Church near Houston. “He expressed his vision for BGCT, can relate to older and younger individuals and is well respected.”
Christina’s background and experience
Christina was born and grew up in Corpus Christi and has 25 years of experience as a pastor of churches in Indiana, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas.
He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Baylor University and Master of Divinity and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky. He has served as an adjunct professor at Union University and Southern Seminary.
From 2017 to 2019, Christina was vice chair of the BGCT Executive Board. He also previously chaired the Great Commission Council and the Missions Funding Council.
In May 1992, Christina was licensed for ministry by First Baptist Church in Corpus Christi. Two years later, he was ordained by Heritage Southern Baptist Church in Vincennes, Ind.
Christina has held numerous positions in denominational service, including his role as director of Baptist causes for the Prichard Family Foundation; a member of the administration and finance committees for Dallas Baptist Association; a trustee at Union University; and a member of the Southern Baptist Conventions’ resolutions committee and committee for nominations.
Christina ‘blessed and honored’ to serve
Christina expressed excitement about the new appointment, saying he felt “blessed and honored” to serve.
“Under the strategic leadership of Dr. David Hardage, Texas Baptists continue to expand their impact and influence around our state, nation and world for the gospel of Jesus Christ,” Christina said.
“I am excited about the opportunity to implement the vision of Dr. Hardage and the Executive Board as we continue to serve the needs of the local church. At the same time, I celebrate the ministry and legacy of Dr. Steve Vernon whose ‘good and faithful’ service has left an indelible mark on the kingdom of God. He and Donna will be greatly missed.”
Christina and his wife, Tracy, have two children and live in Dallas.