As we continue to grow in Connexion, we are making some personnel changes to better equip our ministry for the future God has in store. We are so blessed with abundant talent at First Baptist and we want to continue fostering that. You may have noticed that we are seeking to use more of our singers in leadership roles on Sunday mornings. This is no accident. We are going to continue moving in that direction, equipping and developing those individuals that God is leading to join us in this ministry.
When Russ Williamson left a few weeks ago, it gave us time to reflect on the future of the Connexion service and allowed us to re-imagine the structure that we currently have in place. As a result of these conversations, we have decided not to make any change in personnel. Rather, we have decided to shift some of our responsibilities to make better use of the giftedness of our current personnel.
Coordinating singers, band members, the technology team, and other artists is a big job. For this reason, we welcome Ellee Hilley as the new Director for Worship Arts. She will be in charge of coordinating many of these moving parts in our Connexion service and will continue helping to design worship experiences that celebrate Jesus Christ and lead us to the Throne of Grace. Ellee grew up in our community and has blessed First Baptist for many years. In many ways, this new position is merely making official much of what she has been doing for years.
It would be hard to overestimate the skill set of Orietta Russom as a performer and worship leader. We are blessed to have her at First Baptist. Orietta will be shifting her responsibilities to equipping and empowering our singers and band members as a Praise Team Coach. She will continue to sing and lead within the larger group of vocalists, but will be focusing more intently on training and preparing our musicians as we strive for excellence in all areas of our ministry.
We are excited about what God is doing and the ways the Spirit is leading people to join in the great things going on at First Baptist. We hope you will encourage both Ellee and Orietta in these new roles and be patient as we continue to transition to a “new way of doing business.” As always, we are striving to be a “community of grace” and to create a culture where everyone who walks in our doors knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are loved (and there’s nothing they can do about it).