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Mike Massar Selected New Coordinator for Louisiana,
Charged with Exploring Partnership with Mississippi

Mike Massar
Mike Massar

The CBF-LA Coordinating Council is happy to announce that Mike Massar has been chosen to be the next leader for CBF-LA. His title is Transitional Coordinator reflecting this important time of discernment in determining what comes next for CBF-LA and an acknowledgement that his pastoral and administrative skills are uniquely suited to lead the Louisiana Fellowship through the next chapter.

Dr. Massar has studied at Baylor University, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Mansfield College of Oxford University, and The Graduate Theological Foundation. Mike grew up in west Texas and met his wife, Lisa, at Baylor. She is an early childhood consultant and curricular writer. They have three children - Matt, a Houston attorney, is married to Meredith; Patrick directs marketing for a computer firm in Charlotte, North Carolina; and their daughter Meredith is completing her Ph.D. in art history at Cal-Berkeley.

With over 30 years' experience in ministry, Massar is currently Co-Pastor at University Baptist in Baton Rouge where his duties have been adjusted to allow him to take this part time position with CBF.

Ron Perritt, Moderator for CBF-LA stated Mike "has years of experience with CBF. He has already begun to communicate with the Council and share ideas of how we can better support CBF in our state and aid in our mission work through 'Together for Hope.' We are looking forward to good leadership in the coming months. . . We would also like to thank Kyle Kelley who has agreed to stay on as our Communications Coordinator and continue to publish our newsletters and maintain our website."

In recent weeks the Coordinating Council has begun to explore a regional partnership with CBF Mississippi reflecting a larger trend in CBF life in which state fellowships have found strength and synergy in pooling resources and energy. It is a task the council has charged to Mike in his job description: "Actively participate in the process of exploring merger possibilities with Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Mississippi. Active participation will include attending meetings of any exploratory teams, developing listening sessions and seeing the process through, should both states decide to merge."

Members of both state Coordinating Councils have had two recent exploratory meetings and have involved Bo Prosser of CBF national in the conversations. As Interim Coordinator present for those initial meetings, Kyle Kelley noted, "We have a lot in common, share a similar vision and we are making some great friendships that can only strengthen our common work in areas such as Together for Hope regardless of the final result of this discussion."

Martha Strong, Moderator for CBF-MS stated, "the Coordinating Council for CBF-MS is excited about exploring opportunities for more ways that our two states can work together for ministry and mutual encouragement." At Bo Prosser's suggestion both states will enlist four people from their respective Fellowships to serve as a "listening task force" in both states. These groups will gather information during the next several months from CBF-affiliated individuals and congregations in both states about their needs and interests.

Mike Massar, after a conversation this week with Christian Byrd, CBF-MS Field Coordinator, stated, "we are making some exciting plans about our 'state/regional' meeting at the General Assembly in Dallas. We are also engaged in plans to get our two groups together in the coming months. Hopefully, we will have a schedule of those ready for our meeting in June. Some encouraging things are taking place as we look for ways to partner in the future."   

Mike can be reached at mikem@ubc-br.org or 225-766-9474.