Childress to leave Franklin Baptist

Published 8:17 am Friday, July 24, 2009

FRANKLIN—After six years in the pulpit of Franklin Baptist Church, the Rev. Richard Childress will move on to a different flock.

“Franklin has that hometown feeling, where everybody knows everybody else,” Childress said Thursday. “People here are not only connected through family, but also through organizations and businesses. It’s a very connected community.”

Childress will leave Franklin Baptist to become senior pastor at New Hope Baptist Church in Raleigh, N.C. Sunday will be his last church service here.

When asked what the subject is for his final sermon at Franklin Baptist, Childress said it would be about saying goodbye.

“I have a mixed bag of emotions,” he said. “I’m going to miss the camaraderie among the community here and the friendships that I’ve established. I think there will be a degree of anonymity by moving to a larger city like Raleigh. When I go to the supermarket I won’t know anybody there. Here, I can spend two hours at the store visiting with people I know. I’m going to miss that.”

He added, “I wish it weren’t that way. But it’s a part of the journey of life.”

Childress received his undergraduate degree at Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, Tenn., earned his Master of Divinity from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., and his Doctorate in Theology from the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C.

He and his wife, Pam — a veterinarian in Southampton County — have four children: one son, Tyler, is a rising freshman at James Madison University; another son, Daniel, is a rising senior at the University of Virginia; one daughter, Lauren, attends Bridgewater College; and a second daughter, Hannah, is a rising high school junior.