LOUISVILLE—A former Kentucky Baptist pastor and longtime seminary professor is returning to the Bluegrass State to serve as a regional church consultant.
Larry Purcell will join the Kentucky Baptist Convention’s regional consulting team in January. He will serve in the western Kentucky region, which encompasses nearly 500 churches.
“Bringing another leader of this quality to serve Kentucky Baptist pastors and churches is a huge win,” said Kentucky Baptist Convention Executive Director Paul Chitwood. “Larry not only has a wealth of experience, he’s one of us.”
Both the KBC Administrative Committee and Mission Board voted to hire Purcell.
“Larry is uniquely qualified,” said Steve Rice, leader of the KBC’s Church Consulting and Revitalization Team. “His varied experience and strong west Kentucky connection make him a perfect choice.”
Since 2009, Purcell has worked at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C., having served in a variety of roles, most recently as professor of leadership and associate dean of advanced degree administration.
Purcell has also taught at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, the former Mid-Continent University in Mayfield, and he has served as pastor and interim pastor in several churches since 1981.
“During Larry’s time in North Carolina, pastors and convention leaders have come to appreciate Larry’s ability to be a consultant with churches as they deal with changing communities, transitions of leadership and conflict,” said Al James, professor of missions at Southeastern Seminary. “With the heart of a pastor and expertise of a coach, he walks people through the process of evaluating the situation, seeking potential responses and developing plans to move forward.”
Chuck Lawless, Southeastern’s vice president of graduate studies and ministry centers, said he could not think of anyone he would recommend more highly to be KBC’s west regional consultant.
“He knows the area well, has significant pastoral experience, is highly trained and communicates well with pastors,” Lawless said.
Charles Frazier, pastor of Zion’s Cause Baptist Church in Benton, said Purcell is a man of impeccable character, a strong work ethic and has a passion to serve Jesus.
“Dr. Purcell has been an ever-present mentor in my ministry,” Frazier said. “He is able to share his wisdom and spiritual discernment in practical and constructive ways.”
As a native of western Kentucky, Purcell is familiar with the religious culture of the region, Frazier said.
“He has credibility with the churches of this area and will be well received,” Frazier said. “I believe he will be a solid asset for Kentucky Baptist life.” (KBC)