By Brian Blackwell, Baptist Message staff writer
MONROE, La. (LBM) – Three Louisiana Baptist associations recently welcomed their new ministry and mission coordinators: Northeast and Morehouse Baptist associations, Steven Kelly, and Gulf Coast Baptist Association, Chris Holloway.
Kelly, who previously served as director of missions for Gulf Coast Baptist Association and pastor of several Louisiana Baptist churches, assumed his new associational mission strategist roles, Dec. 5. He follows Jerry Price, who retired from the position, Jan. 31, 2022.
“What excites me is this is one of the strongest areas of our Baptist work in the state,” Kelly told the Baptist Message. “I consider it an honor to work with some of our leading churches and also the opportunity to help encourage some of our struggling churches. To link the strong with struggling is a wonderful thing, which is one of the roles of the missions strategist. I want to help link people, love pastors and encouraging our churches.”
A native of Chalmette, Kelly most recently served as pastor with Bayou Vista Baptist Church, Morgan City (2009-2022). Before then, Kelly was the pastor of Circle Baptist Church, Baker (1995-1997), First Baptist Church, Doyline (1998-2002), and First Baptist Church, Many (2002-2009), as well as other congregations in Iowa and Mississippi.
He also served as a Baptist Collegiate Ministry summer missionary in the San Francisco Bay Area, California, where he sensed the call to ministry and met his wife, Tammilee, who was a partner on his team during the summer of 1986. The couple has three children, Andrew, Adam and Sarah, and one grandchild.
In 2015, Kelly became director of missions for the Gulf Coast Baptist Association. During his time as bi-vocational DOM, Kelly continued to serve as a full-time pastor with Bayou Vista Baptist Church.
Kelly earned the Bachelor of Science from the University of New Orleans and the Master of Divinity from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
As for the future, Kelly said his focus for the first several months will be to build relationships with pastors and churches in the two associations. He will seek to use this time to understand what strategy to undertake to best coordinate the collective efforts and resources of the churches.
“My initial goal is to get to know the pastors and leaders,” he said. “People won’t follow what you do unless they trust you. I want to get into church offices, sit in worship service, preach in pulpits, and have leaders connect with the work.
“I am looking forward to serving in an area where there is a mix of small and large churches, a university, and a metro area,” he continued. “Collectively, I hope to lead the churches of our two associations to work together to impact this region for Christ.”
Holloway assumed his role with the Gulf Coast Baptist Association on Dec. 1.
Like his predecessor, Holloway serves as a bi-vocational director of missions.
Holloway will continue to serve as pastor of Little Pass Baptist Church, Franklin, and will work at least one day a week as director of missions.
While his role as pastor will prevent him from serving as an interim pastor at other churches on Sundays, Holloway plans to meet with pastors during mealtimes, in the evenings and on Saturdays for special events.
Throughout his time as pastor of multiple churches in the association, Holloway has gotten to know most of the churches in the association, which elected him as moderator for 11 years (2011-2022).
A native of Jonesboro, Arkansas, Holloway committed his heart and life to Christ in 1973 while visiting with his pastor, Earl Pounds, at Butler Hill Baptist Church, St. Louis, Missouri. Three years later, he felt the call to ministry and became the volunteer youth pastor with First Baptist Church, Dubach, Louisiana.
During the years that followed, Holloway continued to serve on staff with congregations in Kentucky, as well as with Louisiana Baptist churches: youth pastor, Highland Park, Monroe (1978-1979), mission pastor, Myette, Franklin (1980-1985), pastor, Calvary, Goodwill (1985-1989), pastor, Oak Hill, Many (2004-2011), pastor, Little Pass (2011-present), and Cypremort Point, Franklin (2018-2022). He and his wife, Linda, have six children, Heather, Julie, Amber, Matt, John and Luke, and 11 grandchildren.
Holloway earned the Bachelor of Science from Louisiana Tech University and the Master of Arts and Doctor of Religious Studies from Trinity Theological Seminary, Evansville, Indiana.
He hopes to continue building upon the foundation Kelly laid as DOM.
“The fellowship among the pastors has really changed the last few years and our churches have become much closer,” Holloway said. “It’s essential for that to happen if we will continue to reach our area for Christ. We are able to do what we do because of the cooperation among pastors.”