After 21 years as editor of the Southern Baptist TEXAN, Gary Ledbetter will be transitioning to a part-time advisory position with the publication at the end of the year as he begins taking steps toward retirement. The TEXAN is the print and digital newsjournal of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention.
“It’s a rare privilege to be part of something dynamic and groundbreaking,” Ledbetter said. “Our state convention had something like 450 churches when I began and now has almost 2,700 churches. That’s a lot of change. I’m honored to have helped tell that story.”
Ledbetter previously served as dean of students at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri, and has served churches and denominational entities in Texas, Indiana, Arkansas and Missouri for more than 46 years. Gary is a graduate of Criswell College in Dallas, Texas; Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas; and Midwestern Seminary.
Ledbetter’s wife, Tammi, recently retired from the news editor role with the TEXAN after 20 years.
Editor-elect Jayson Larson
To allow a time of overlap and a formal handoff going into 2022, the TEXAN editor-elect Jayson Larson was hired and approved by the SBTC executive board Aug. 24.
Larson also will serve as associate for digital ministries and communications for the convention, a role he begins in October.
Larson, currently senior pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Prineville, Oregon, served as associate pastor of First Baptist Church Vidor, Texas, from 2015 to 2019. He earned a degree in journalism/communications from Trinity Valley Community College in Athens, Texas, and a bachelor of arts in communication and biblical study from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. He is currently pursuing a master of divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.
Lance Crowell, senior strategist for SBTC’s digital ministries and communications, described Larson as “understanding the news side of the TEXAN and also having a pastor’s heart.”
Larson has been a sports and news writer and editor for the Athens Daily Review and other newspapers and has won numerous awards from the Associated Press Managing Editors Association, Texas Press Association and Northeast Texas Press Association. He also formerly served as a public relations officer for Trinity Valley Community College.