First Baptist Church, Huntsville, AL
Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Interim Leadership

Sunday Morning Interim Preacher
  It is a genuine honor and thrill to be coming to First Baptist Church, Huntsville.  I have long admired your congregation and I thank you for the opportunity to be with you at such an important time. Since I am going to be opening the Bible and my heart to you, it seems you ought to know a little about me. 

I am a proud son of Anniston, Alabama.  After graduating from Samford University, I spent two years in Venezuela as a Missionary Journeyman.  I returned from Venezuela and married Keri Williams (a native of Gadsden).

At Southern Seminary in Louisville I fell in love with learning.  Then, in March of 1991, Keri and I moved with our three children to Nigeria as missionaries.  There my primary ministry was as a seminary teacher.

In the summer of 1995 my father’s massive stroke altered our ministry call. I am my mother’s only child, so we stayed in the U.S. to fulfill family responsibilities.  After a year as missionary-in-residence and adjunct faculty member at Samford, I accepted the pastorate of First Baptist Church, Mount Washington, KY. 

We were there when a friend from Richmond, VA, called and said his pastor had just retired.  That’s how I became pastor of the Bon Air Baptist Church in June, 2002.  We had twelve wonderful years at Bon Air—a multi-site, multi-worship-service, multi-ethnic, multi-generation congregation. 

God’s call is still unfolding.  I left Bon Air in March, 2014, for two primary roles. First, Virginia Baptists provide financial support for me and I represent them in a movement called Fresh Expressions (  Fresh Expressions encourages new forms of church primarily for those who are not yet members of any church, so this feels like a return to my missionary calling.

Second, as a congregational coach with the The Center for Healthy Churches ( I help congregations and ministers in key moments such as visioning, conflict and transition.   I’m thrilled to have my new book coming out in October:  For Ministers About to Start…and About to Give Up.

For many years I was a high school football referee, though I had to give it up this year because of my travel schedule.  Two years ago I took up golf and the bug bit me badly; I love the game.

Keri and I have been married for thirty-one years, and you can see a picture of our family above.

Thank you again for this opportunity.  It is a privilege and a sobering responsibility to stand where my friend, David, has stood for the past twelve years.  I promise to do my best to apply Scripture to our lives.
Travis will be with us most Sundays in both morning services through the duration of our interim.   
Wednesday Interim Bible Study Leader
Dr. Dan Champion has been leading Bible Study during our Wednesday evening services since August 13. After finishing his undergraduate work that Mississippi College in Speech and Bible, he attended New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary where he was awarded a Master of Divinity in Religious Education. He also secured a M.A. from LSU in Speech Communication and was awarded a Ph.D Speech Communication, History. In addition to his work as a permanent Baptist pastor, Dr. Champion’s Christian journey includes at least 17 stints, some more than once, as an interim pastor in various locations in the south. Dr. Champion also has an impressive and extensive forty-year history as professor, department chair, dean, Vice President and Interim President at three different institutions, including Carson-Newman College. 
He has already made a significant contribution to our congregation as he is the father of our own Tara Dubose-Schmitt. 
We are truly blessed to have Dan Champion lead us on Wednesdays.
If you have information for us, we may be reached at or just catch any of us at church.  I am sure we will be blessed during this time!   
Interim Pulpit Committee: 
Chairman - Dennis O'Dell, George Bugg, Ed Culpepper, Eugenia Graves, MaryAnn Moon, and alternate, Rodger Keene. 
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