JACKSONVILLE (FLBaptist)—Clarence Hackett and Jerry White served in two diverse areas of ministry, yet each with their specific gifts and skills made a Kingdom contribution to Florida Baptists, giving nearly a combined 45 years to the cause of Christ in the state.
As they entered new chapters in their lives Jan. 1, these Florida Baptist Convention retirees—Hackett, 68, strategist of the Stewardship Team, and White, 72, director of human resources—say their work for the Lord will continue.
Since arriving at the Convention in 1984, Hackett has played a number of roles in the area of Biblical stewardship as he guided Florida Baptist churches and associations in stewardship education and development. He came to the Convention from the pastorate of Eastside Baptist Church in Punta Gorda, where he had served since 1978. Prior to that, the New Jersey native served churches in Ohio and Kentucky.
In his ministry to churches and associations, Hackett conducted pastor stewardship training throughout the state, with those meetings were consistently the highest in attendance and most requested of the Convention’s programing options. Much of the resource materials he used had been created and developed by Hackett; including “Building for the Future” capital campaigns.
“Dr. Hackett has served Florida Baptists with distinction [and] grace, and displayed marvelous leadership in the vital area of stewardship,” said Glen Owens, assistant executive director treasurer of the Florida Baptist Convention.
“His writing skills in the area of stewardship are without equal in Southern Baptist life, and his materials have been used all across the Southern Baptist Convention. The materials continue to be the standard of excellence in the field,” Owens said.
As the “creator and designer” of the capital campaign, Building for the Future, Hackett “helped our churches raise approximately $160 million, thereby saving hundreds of thousands of dollars in interest for our churches,” Owens explained.
As Hackett reflected over the past 29-plus years, he said working with Florida Baptists “has been rewarding because it is one of the best state conventions in the SBC. It has been fulfilling while making an impact in the Kingdom of God. The rewards are being part of a great mission enterprise that impacts churches locally and globally.”
The stewardship specialist said he enjoyed assisting churches “move from a budget/finance committee to a ministry of stewardship. Consultations with churches were always a highlight,” he said, adding that Building for the Future campaigns provided professional consultations for about 275 Florida Baptist churches.
“Trusting God with your finances is an important aspect of one’s discipleship,” Hackett said.
During his tenure, Hackett served as an interim pastor to 15 Florida Baptist churches, a role he now fills at Woodstock Baptist Church in Jacksonville. He hopes to continue helping other churches undergoing pastoral transitions. He plans to continue to write and develop stewardship materials and conduct associational stewardship meetings until a successor is named.
White came to the Convention in 1999, after serving in similar human resource roles at Jacksonville based-CSX Transportation and The Charter Company.
“It was a joy to work in a Christian environment with God’s people after working in the corporate world for over thirty years,” recalled White. “I believe I was able to bring a degree of professionalism to the HR function that previously did not exist as well as develop and implement some procedures and policies that reflected that professionalism, while serving as a friend, counselor, confidant and brother to our employees and retirees.”
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