ROACH, Missouri — Windermere Baptist Conference Center announced the hiring of Tim Huddleston as president and CEO on Feb. 15, following a unanimous vote by its board. He began his post at Windermere on March 1.
Tim Huddleston, 51 of Clever, Missouri, brings a rich legacy of professional service to Christian nonprofit organizations. He formerly served as president of Kids Across America, a camp for urban youth located in Golden, Missouri. He also served eight years as Dean of Development at College of the Ozarks.
Most recently, he served as regional vice president at the Missouri Baptist Foundation in Jefferson City. Neil Franks, president of the Foundation, noted Huddleston “has been both an outstanding development officer, and a great friend to me and to all Missouri Baptists. We will miss him. But knowing the need at Windermere for leadership and the incredible potential it still has, I could not be more excited for both Tim and for all Missouri Baptists.”
Tim Mensendiek, Windermere Chairman, believes Huddleston is an outstanding leader and a man uniquely prepared for this challenge. “For 62 years, Windermere has played a significant role in helping to shape the spiritual development and growth of hundreds of thousands of guests from around the world. I am one of those people,” Mensendiek said. “Tim Huddleston is a very gifted and experienced servant-leader. We are extremely excited about locking arms with Tim and his wife Teresa as they lead the way in serving others and making disciples.”
Huddleston’s wife, Teresa, will also be joining the Windermere staff to serve in a new position as director of programming and staff development.
“The Board’s vote to hire Tim was unanimous, but more than that, we knew he and his wife embraced the new vision for Windermere,” said Robert Plunk, Vice-Chairman of the Windermere Board. “They are a great team.”
Huddleston earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration at College of the Ozarks and holds a Master’s in Business Administration from Southwest Baptist University. He also had an extensive career in the financial services industry.
Teresa earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from College of the Ozarks and a Master’s in Christian Education from Dallas Baptist University. She currently serves as Research Coordinator for Christian Action Ministries. Teresa and Tim have four children and eight grandchildren.
Windermere was one of five Missouri Baptist agencies that changed its governing documents so that each could elect its own trustees in 2000 and 2001. The conference center won a series of decisions in a lawsuit subsequently filed by Missouri Baptist Convention.
In September 2018, the Windermere Board adopted a new vision statement for the center that was instrumental in peaking the Huddlestons’ interest. “It’s no big secret there have been some very challenging years,” Mensendiek said. “It’s time to heal and grow. For the sake of the Gospel, for the future of our families and state, it’s time for leaders to step up and help put those years behind us. The vision is simple: Windermere is a tranquil place of redemption where Jesus’ love and truth makes people free and whole.”
In addition to the traditional offerings like youth camps and church retreats, which will continue, new plans include offering a vast array of ministry programming including pastoral and leadership retreats. “Many pastors are lonely. This may sound backwards, but the reality is as pastors grow, people thrive,” Mensendiek said. “As a pastor for over two decades, I know firsthand the great demands of shepherding people. The Church needs more pastors and leaders committed to ongoing personal healing and growth to prevent burnout or even disaster exasperated by the stress of leading.”
Other plans include workshops on relationships such as relating to adult children, support groups for first responders, lay counseling training to help pastors be effective shepherds, and business leadership training on how to use biblical principles to create a productive culture of personal growth within businesses.
“I encourage all Missourians, to give them a chance to share their vision,” said Franks, “and join them in restoring Windermere to being a place where all Missouri Baptists and all Christians can find reconciliation and restoration with God and with each other.”