LOUISVILLE (WR) —Todd Deaton, editor of the Western Recorder, has announced his resignation, effective March 1, to accept the position of managing editor of The Baptist Courier, news magazine of South Carolina Baptists.
Deaton, a native of South Carolina, has been editor of the Western Recorder since 2009. He is returning to the Courier, where he previously served for 13 years prior to joining the Recorder's staff.
"The Western Recorder board of trustees and the faithful subscribers of the newspaper are thankful for Todd's 10 years of dedicated service to Kentucky Baptists," said Board Chairman Chip Hutcheson, a former president of the Kentucky Baptist Convention. "We appreciate his dedication to telling the stories about how the Lord has been working through Kentucky Baptists. And I appreciate his desire to build bridges rather than cause discord," he added.
The newspaper world has changed dramatically during Deaton's tenure at Western Recorder, observed Hutcheson, recently retired publisher of the Times Leader in Princeton, Ky., adding that Deaton has weathered those challenges well. "In recent times he has continued to edit the newspaper with a much smaller staff than when he arrived here, and has done so without complaint," Hutcheson said.
Serving Kentucky Baptists alongside some tremendous leaders during these past 10 years has been an esteemed privilege, Deaton said. "Ministering with the Western Recorder staff and trustees on behalf of Kentucky Baptists truly has been a highlight of my career in Baptist journalism," he said.
"I will treasure the friendships made while serving among Kentucky Baptists," Deaton said. "While it's always hard to say goodbye to dear friends and ministerial colleagues, my wife and I have sensed for some time that God has been loosening our ties here in preparing us for new challenges in His perfect timing.
"Little did we ever dream that we would be returning to serve the Baptists of my home state and to work with the Baptist Courier again," he added. "It is, indeed, a rare blessing to go home again, and I'm delighted that God is providing us with the opportunity to begin our ministry there anew."
Speaking on behalf of Kentucky Baptists and the Western Recorder's Board of Trustees, Hutcheson said, "I know we all join in wishing him well as he pursues a wonderful opportunity with the state Baptist newspaper in South Carolina."
Rudy Gray, editor and president of The Baptist Courier, said that he was "beyond delighted" that Deaton will be joining again the Courier family. He will succeed Butch Blume, who is retiring after 10 years as managing editor.
"Todd is an accomplished and award-winning Christian journalist, successful editor, and a South Carolina native who certainly knows South Carolina Baptists," Gray said. "As we sought God's direction in locating the best managing editor we could find, one name surfaced above all others: Todd Deaton. He was my first choice from the beginning.
"As we began to talk with Todd and pray about the possibility of him returning to The Courier, it was evident God was at work in his heart and in our hearts," Gray added. "We praise God for His guidance. The Courier is blessed to have a man of Todd's caliber as our next managing editor."
Deaton, who has worked nearly 35 years in Baptist journalism, holds a doctorate from Southeastern Theological Baptist Seminary and also is a graduate of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Furman University. He served journalism internships at the Baptist Courier as a college student and with the Western Recorder as a seminary student.
A recent national president of the Association of State Baptist Publications and longtime member of Baptist Communicators Association, he has been recognized with numerous journalism awards, including five first-place editorial awards from the Kentucky Press Association.
Deaton and his wife, Michelle, have two children: Laura, a nurse in Louisville, and Caleb, an aviation major at Eastern Kentucky University.