BIRMINGHAM (TAB) — Jennifer Davis Rash has been named editor-elect of the nation’s most widely circulated state Baptist newspaper — The Alabama Baptist (TAB).
Rash, who began her journey with TAB as a news writer Jan. 1, 1996, has served as executive editor of the publication for the past six years.
She oversees the weekly production of the paper in all its formats — print, digital, social media, etc. She also has been directing the launch of a new website for http://www.thealabamabaptist.org and blogs at http://www.rashionalthoughts.com.
Rash has served alongside and been mentored by TAB’s editor and president Bob Terry for nearly 21 years. She joined the team five months after Terry became editor. Together they have helped lead the staff to receive more than 200 national and state awards for work in news writing, feature writing, editorial writing, layout, design, investigative reporting and broadcast.Terry made the announcement of Rash being promoted to editor-elect during the Oct. 7–8 TAB board of directors’ meeting in Birmingham.
“In 2010, Jennifer chose The Alabama Baptist a second time when she was offered the editorship of the Arkansas Baptist News that year and turned it down. It would have made her the first female editor of a major state Baptist paper,” Terry said.
“It was a hard decision but Jennifer chose to stay at The Alabama Baptist. She was clear. She wanted to be editor of a state Baptist paper. She was also clear in knowing that God called her to serve in Alabama.
“At some point I will finalize my plans for retirement and as I do so, it will be with great appreciation for the action of this board of directors and with great confidence in the future of this ministry,” Terry said.
“The Alabama Baptist will have superior leadership. The board of directors, acting as a search committee of the whole, could not have done a better job in selecting the next editor and president to lead this ministry.”
TAB board chairwoman Amelia Pearson, Ed.D., explained that the board took its action in order to have a succession plan in place. The succession plan would be activated at retirement, resignation, incapacitation or death.
“The goal was for the organization not to be caught in a crisis time without having plans in place to proceed in an orderly fashion,” said Pearson, who is retired after serving as a college faculty member, dean and president across 40 years. “Many businesses have succession plans in place and that was a good model for TAB to follow.”
The board affirmed Rash in her quest to be editor six years ago, so she was the obvious choice when it was determined a succession plan should be established whenever and however that transition is triggered, Pearson said.
“Jennifer Rash is an exceptional writer and has demonstrated tremendous capacity as the executive editor,” she said. “We are very fortunate to have someone with Jennifer’s skills and talents to name as editor-elect for The Alabama Baptist.
“Jennifer has big shoes to fill as Dr. Terry has been a superb editor and provided excellent leadership to the staff and the board of directors for many years,” Pearson said.
“She is blessed to be able to work under Dr. Terry’s mentorship as she continues learning the various aspects of the paper’s top position.”
“To be able to learn so many life lessons, develop my skillset and grow up in general through the ministry communications channel of The Alabama Baptist has indeed been a blessing and a gift,” she said.
“I will always be indebted to Bob Terry for the investment and confidence placed in me to grow into the person capable of the position,” Rash noted. “And to have the unanimous support of TAB’s board of directors provides the strength and foundation I need to continue developing into the leader I hope will make them proud.”
Along with her responsibilities with TAB, Rash currently serves as vice president for Associated Church Press and is a past president of Baptist Communicators Association. She also serves as an instructor for the online ministry communication certificate through the Ministry Training Institute at Samford University in Birmingham.
Rash is an honors graduate from the University of Alabama with a bachelor of arts in journalism and earned a master’s of theological studies from Samford’s Beeson Divinity School. She grew up at Mountain View Baptist Church, Phil Campbell, and served two years on the missions field with the International Mission Board after college. She and her husband, Jason, have been married 19 years and are members of NorthPark Baptist Church, Trussville.