LIBERTY, Mo. — The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Heartland has named Jeff Langford as its new coordinator, effective Jan 1.
The regional organization’s coordinating council unanimously elected Langford, who currently serves as the associate coordinator for Heartland, at its Sept. 19 meeting.
Harold Phillips, who has served as CBF Heartland’s coordinator for the past 20 years, will assume the role of church benefits advocate, helping CBF partner churches engage in best practices for sabbaticals, retirement and congregational health.
A native of Clinton, Mo., Langford is a graduate of the University of Central Missouri and Purdue University and has been Heartland’s associate coordinator for 10 years. He and his wife, Sara, were married in 1991 and have three children. Langford is a lay leader at Second Baptist Church in Liberty, where he serves as a deacon and Sunday School teacher.
“I couldn’t be more excited to serve CBF Heartland in this new role,” Langford said. “As churches, organizations and followers of Christ, we are faced with incredible opportunities to partner in renewing God’s world.
“I am humbled and grateful to be a part of CBF Heartland’s vibrant and vital work in inspiring leaders, transformative missions and engaging communities.”
CBF Heartland Coordinating Council Moderator Nancy Thompson noted that CBF Heartland was fortunate to already have on staff someone with the leadership skills necessary to follow Phillips as coordinator.
“Jeff has the qualities the council was seeking to continue engaging churches and individuals in CBF Heartland’s varied ministries,” she said. “He will make the task of transitioning to new leadership easy, and with Harold’s presence and involvement in CBF Heartland for the foreseeable future, the work of our ministry partners will continue uninterrupted.”
Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Executive Coordinator Suzii Paynter praised CBF Heartland’s choice in the selection of Langford.
“I am thrilled that Jeff has been called to fill this position,” Paynter said. “He has been a faithful partner in ministry and mission in CBF Heartland churches for many years. Jeff is well known across the states and regions of CBF as a demonstrated leader and creative partner in broader CBF life.
“We are excited to see the work that he does to grow the region and continue to partner with CBF Global in meaningful ways,” she said. “We pray for a smooth transition of leadership as Harold Phillips passes this torch, and we know that his leadership will continue to be present in the Heartland.”
Phillips welcomed Langford’s leadership as he moves into a new role himself.
“Jeff has brought tremendous professional and people skills to the organization,” Phillips said. “He is extraordinarily prepared to provide leadership to CBF Heartland as we move forward. Jeff’s ability to nurture and encourage has been shaped by a recognition of the needs of churches to be their best.”
After 20 years in his position with CBF Heartland, Phillips added that the “best part” of his role as church benefits advocate will be the ability to continue relating to pastors and laity in the Heartland.
“We have made significant strides in creating a young Baptist ecosystem with Camp Connect, working with Passport Camps, Student. Go (CBF’s student missions initiative), Student.Church (CBF’s congregational internship program) and college ministry leaders,” Phillips said.
“The Roma Road Partnership in Slovakia and Romania continues to flourish even as we embark on an exciting new partnership with CBF field personnel Jenny Jenkins and her work in Haiti.”
“The process leading to a new coordinator began with a suggestion from Harold Phillips at the beginning of this year,” said CBF Heartland Past Coordinating Council Moderator Michael Olmsted. “We have been blessed and have grown in ministry through Harold’s capable leadership these past 20 years.”
“We had made the historic move over a year ago to move beyond the traditional borders of state and denominational structures,” he said. “Now we include churches and individuals from Kansas, Iowa and Illinois.
“We anticipate a bright future as we build on a noteworthy past and discover new opportunities to be the presence of Christ in these challenging days.”