Butch Blume will be retiring around the end March, and even though we will miss him, we are blessed to welcome a seasoned veteran of Christian journalism, Todd Deaton. Todd served as the managing editor of The Courier from 1996 to 2009 before accepting the position of editor of The Western Recorder in Kentucky.
He came to The Baptist Courier in 1996 after serving as associate editor of North Carolina’s Biblical Recorder. Don Kirkland, Courier editor from 1996 to 2012, hired Todd for the position. “Todd proved to be a valuable addition to our staff,” he said. “I remember the day he called me into his office to tell me he was leaving The Courier for new work in Kentucky. I teared up, and he asked with a smile, ‘Are those tears of joy?’ I was indeed happy for Todd, who was following his call, but very sad for The Courier and for me personally. Todd was a great asset then, and he will be now.”
Todd grew up in South Carolina, graduating from Woodruff High School and Furman University. He went on to earn a master of divinity degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a doctor of education degree from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He served as a staff counselor at McCall RA Camp and has been an adjunct professor at Campbellsville University in Kentucky.
We are looking forward to working with such an outstanding Christian journalist and Baptist statesman. Lonnie Wilkey, editor of The Baptist and Reflector in Tennessee, said, “Todd Deaton is an extremely talented Southern Baptist journalist. With his ties to South Carolina and his past experience with the magazine, he is the logical choice to become the managing editor of The Courier. I have known Todd for more than three decades, and he has a love for ministry and a passion to tell the stories that bring glory and honor to the Savior he serves.”
Bob Deaton, Todd’s dad, served as pastor of four South Carolina Baptist Convention churches before becoming the state Annuity Board (now known as GuideStone) representative for the SCBC. Following that, Bob concluded his career with the South Carolina Baptist Foundation.
Todd served as president of the Association of State Baptist Publications in 2016 and won four first-place and two second-place awards from 2012 to 2016 for “Best Editorial” from the Kentucky Press Association.
He and his wife, Michelle, have sensed a growing influence in their hearts that change was on the way for them. When we began to talk with Todd, we did not know if he would be interested, but he enthusiastically embraced the opportunity to return to The Courier. As we talked and prayed, it became evident that God was leading us in this process.
While Butch and Todd are different, they share the same commitment, expertise and work ethic needed for excellence in Christian journalism. The quality of our work here at The Courier will not diminish at all during this time of transition. Butch will be available to work with us as needed in the future in the production of books through Courier Publishing.
As The Courier celebrates its 150th anniversary during 2019, we do so with gratitude for past accomplishments, faith for future service and confidence in the God of grace and His amazing revelation. We will continue to tell the stories of those who are telling The Story of Jesus and His redeeming love.
Please pray for Todd and Michelle as they sell their home in Kentucky and find a home in South Carolina. On behalf of all of us here, I welcome Todd back to the Courier family.