On Wednesday evening, August 18th, members of Johns Creek Baptist Church voted unanimously to extend a call to Reverend Terri Byrd, to serve as our congregation’s first ever Mobilization Pastor.
Terri currently serves as Executive Coordinator of the Alabama Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. Now in her 26th year of vocational ministry, Terri has spent the past 12 years working with individuals and congregations within Alabama CBF to live out their God-given call to be the hands and feet of Christ, right where they are and around the world. Before her current ministry, Terri served on the pastoral staff of churches in Alabama and Florida. Terri holds a B.A. from Mercer University, and a Master of Theological Studies from the Beeson Divinity School of Samford University. She was ordained into Christian Ministry at Vestavia Hills Baptist Church, in Birmingham.
For JCBC, the call of our first Mobilization Pastor has been years in the making. As early as 2013, our iMAGINEXT campaign expressed our deeply held conviction that within every follower of Jesus there is the holy presence and action of God waiting to be discovered, awakened, and called into action! We called upon ourselves to intentionally imagine, and deliberately discern what God may be calling out of each of us and all of us, believing the reality that “in Christ, there is never not a next!”
During our 2019 church-wide discernment campaign, that conviction was even more clearly expressed as JCBC identified “member mobilization” as one of four strategic initiatives deserving of our highest energies and attention. We articulated our hope this way:
At JCBC, we believe deeply that every member (without exception) is called by God to serve the cause of Christ. Each is uniquely gifted to use his or her passions, gifts, and talents to glorify God in profound ways within the Body of Christ. JCBC will be known as a church that takes the empowerment of its laity seriously. Through the development of a robust and comprehensive member-mobilization ministry, every woman, man, girl, and boy will be fully empowered and truly equipped to discover and live out their God-given call.
The position of Mobilization Pastor was established in late 2019 in order to give focused leadership in developing this “robust and comprehensive” member-mobilization strategy.
A significant part of the mobilization strategy involves missions. All of the missional energies that have been part of JCBC’s identity for years is a cornerstone of mobilization. All of our work locally and globally through missional partners, mission trips, mission projects, and missions giving—all of these efforts have been ways we have mobilized TOGETHER as a church.
The initiative to develop our member-mobilization strategy, however, is an effort to unlock that same missional consciousness and fervor within the hearts of every single member!
Believing that each and every woman, man, girl, and boy is called by God, our desire is to develop a strategic pathway for anyone desiring to take a new and next step in mobilizing that call. To that end, the role of Mobilization Pastor is designed to give the highest degree of vision, oversight, and accountability to that effort.
We believe that Terri Byrd is the person God has prepared to help lead in this area. Terri has a passion (and a gift) for coming alongside individuals and congregations to partner with them in discerning what God may be up to in their lives. This kind of pastoral presence has been a significant part of her work as Coordinator of the Alabama CBF, where she has learned to hone a kind of missional radar—recognizing where needs emerge, and where the God-given gifts of people may be called upon to meet those needs.
On Wednesday, JCBC approved a joint recommendation from our Deacons, Pastor’s Council, Stewardship Committee, and Mobilization Pastor Search Committee to call Terri as our Mobilization Pastor. Our JCBC Pastors also had an opportunity to meet with Terri. Here is what they had to say:
“I’m excited for the opportunity to work alongside someone who also believes the church deployed and mobilized is the church that will change the world with the lived-out, demonstrated Gospel.”
~Michael McCullar, JCBC Formations Pastor
“Fredrick Beuchner defines our calling as the place where our ‘deepest gladness meets the world’s deep need.’ To have such a talented colleague as Terri dedicated to helping people discover and deploy their God-given call, is a gift!”
~ David White, JCBC Connections Pastor
“After meeting Terri for the first time as a staff, she already feels like she’s part of the team. I am excited to see how God will work in the life of JCBC through her leadership and service.”
~Annie Westbrook, JCBC Youth Pastor
“I am looking forward to working with Terri! Her skills, personality, and passion will be wonderful additions to the JCBC staff!”
~Robin Priddy, JCBC Children’s Pastor
“The worship ministry welcomes Terri Byrd with enthusiasm! She will encourage each of us to live a LIFESTYLE of worship that is expressed through missional mobilization!”
~Monte Nichols, Interim Traditional Worship Pastor
“A few moments with Terri was all it took to realize that she will make an important contribution to our church family. I can’t wait to have her join the team!”
~Adam Courtney, Contemporary Worship Pastor
Terri lives in Birmingham, Alabama, and is married to Paul Byrd, who is a Pediatric Chaplain at Children’s Hospital of Alabama. Paul and Terri have two adult children: Turner Nathaniel and Evann Malinda.
Terri will take six weeks to transition out of her leadership role at Alabama CBF. During that time, she will make deliberate visits to JCBC for various meetings and to prepare for her move. Her first official Sunday with us will be October 3rd.
We give thanks to God for leading us to this important moment in the life of our church.
I also want to express my deepest gratitude to our Mobilization Pastor Search Committee (Todd Shiver, Tracy Bates, Jeff Huett, Marsha Janofsky, Calvin Blake, Molly Darwin, and Bob Prator) for the hours of dialogue and discernment, for their love of this church, and for their faithful service to our Lord. You have loved your church well, and we are grateful.
Have I told you lately how much I love being your Pastor?
Well, I do!