BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (BP) -- After 50 years of serving Baptist newspapers -- 43 of those years in the lead editor role, including at Word&Way -- Bob Terry is retiring Dec. 31.
Terry, an Alabama native who became editor of The Alabama Baptist (TAB) in 1995, has repeatedly led the paper to rise to the top among its peers. For more than two decades, it has been named annually in the top three regional Christian newspapers.
He also has won numerous personal awards for his editorials and news writing.
Before coming back to Alabama, Terry became executive secretary of the Association of State Baptist Publications (ASBP), a role he carried over into his time as editor of TAB. Terry was honored in February for serving in the ASBP leadership role for 25 years.
"I envisioned the position [as TAB editor] as a short-lived experience which would help me learn more about my denomination from the inside," Terry wrote in his March 22 column that announced his retirement. "In turn, that would make me a better pastor which I thought was my calling. Obviously, God had other things in mind."
During his career, he also served in other leadership roles both nationally and internationally, such as chair of Baptist World Alliance's communications committee and postal representative for the nation's religious press. Before becoming editor of TAB, Terry served as associate editor of Kentucky's Western Recorder for seven years, then as the editor of Missouri's Word&Way for 20 years.
He earned a bachelor of arts from Mississippi College in Clinton in 1965, then went on to earn a master's degree and doctor of ministry degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky. He also holds an honorary doctor of sacred theology degree from Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Mo.
Through the years, Terry also has served Alabama's churches as an interim pastor on numerous occasions.
A reception will be held in his honor at the Alabama Baptist State Convention in November.
"This is not goodbye," Terry wrote. "My race is not yet over. I have not completed my course, to use the Apostle Paul's analogy in 2 Timothy 4:7. There are nine more months in 2018 and I plan to run the race to the end."
Editor-elect Jennifer Rash will begin her new role on Jan. 1.