JACKSON, Tenn. – Jan. 15, 2007 – Jerry Tidwell, pastor of Ellendale Baptist Church in Bartlett, Tenn., has been named senior vice president for church relations at Union University.
“This is a wonderful day for Union University,” Union President David S. Dockery said. “Jerry Tidwell loves Union and loves the churches of the Tennessee Baptist Convention. He will bring great experience to this important position in the life of our university. Dr. Tidwell is widely respected across our state for his statesmanship, his churchmanship and his exemplary commitment to evangelism, missions, and Christian higher education.”
As vice president for church relations, Tidwell will work to cultivate relationships with local churches – both in West Tennessee and beyond. He will also serve as a liaison between Union and the Tennessee Baptist Convention and Southern Baptist Convention.
In addition, Tidwell will teach courses in evangelism and pastoral ministry and will oversee Union’s Master of Christian Studies program in Jackson.
“I fell in love with Union when I first became pastor of West Jackson Baptist Church back in the early 1990s,” Tidwell said. “Union really became a priority for me when I became a board member, because I saw where the graduates of Union were going and the impact they were making. Seeing that has given me a desire to be a part of that vision of truly engaging the world and changing the world through the university.”
Tidwell is a graduate of the University of North Alabama and holds Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. In addition to Ellendale, he has also served as pastor of two other Tennessee churches: West Jackson Baptist Church in Jackson and Grace Baptist Church in Tullahoma.
He has served as president of the Tennessee Baptist Convention, as a member of the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention and as chairman of Union’s board of trustees.
Tidwell is the author of the widely used “GROW” program, published and distributed by LifeWay Christian Resources, for outreach and evangelism at local churches.
He and his wife, Kathy, have two daughters – Chrissy, 14, and Cassy, 8.
“Dr. Tidwell has the respect of the entire board of trustees,” said Harry Smith, chairman of Union’s board of trustees. “We are very excited about his willingness to serve the university in this key capacity.”