LITTLE ROCK – Greg Addison, 49, pastor of First Baptist Church, Cabot, since February 2007, has been named associate executive director of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention (ABSC).
Addison, who was ABSC president from 2012-13, is expected to begin his new duties July 1. He replaces Jimmie Sheffield, who has served as interim associate executive director since 2013.
"It is exciting and a great honor to have Greg Addison working for the churches in the Arkansas Baptist State Convention," said J.D. "Sonny" Tucker, ABSC executive director. "The state fell in love with Greg as they got to know him while he was serving as state convention president. His experience as pastor, service as state convention president, passion for evangelism and his background as an attorney will make him a valuable asset to Arkansas Baptists."
Prior to serving at First Baptist, Cabot, Addison was pastor of East Side Baptist Church, Paragould, from 2002 to 2007.
Addison, a former attorney, was ordained to the gospel ministry in 1996 at Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis. In February of that year, Addison joined the ministry staff at Bellevue where he served on staff until 2002, leading the church’s single adult, new member and men’s ministries.
During Addison’s tenure at First Baptist, Cabot, the church has grown significantly, in part due to innovative programs like Genesis Lab for children. He and his wife, Janet, developed the children’s worship program, which Addison describes as “a creative and interactive program using drama, science experiments and creative teaching in the context of an imaginative science lab to teach children a biblical worldview.”
The Addison’s have two children, Mabry Anne and John Grant.
In a 2012 interview with the Arkansas Baptist News, Addison said he is grateful for all the ministry experiences God has provided him – first as a layman and now as a minister.
“I know what it is to be a layman. I served as a deacon, committee member and Sunday school teacher. I understand the world they live in and walk through every day because I walked through that world as well,” said Addison.
“I understand how hard it is to work with people with a different worldview, witnessing at work, the stress of maintaining your testimony – even when ridiculed for it. I know what it is like to have ministry responsibilities after working 50 hours a week in your secular job. I know what I want and need from a pastor,” he said. “It really helps me focus on loving and serving our church family. In fact, most of the time I identify with the perspective of a layman far more than as a pastor.”
Addison said his “life journey” of moving from lawyer to pastor intrigues some people and gives him opportunities to share Jesus – even sometimes when it is said in a joking manner.
“It’s fun to hear them ask, ‘Did you get saved and then stop practicing law?’” Addison said, adding he uses the opportunity to tell them how he was saved at age 9 and grew up in the church.
“God trained me through church to teach me as a pastor the power and importance of a healthy church. Every salvation testimony is special because it cost Jesus’ death on the cross,” he said. “Mine is no more valuable that anyone else’s story, but like every testimony, (it) connects with some people and causes them to consider Jesus’ influence in a life. The lesson? If you will surrender your life to Jesus, He will do more with your life than you can ever imagine.”