DALLAS—Craig Christina, pastor of Shiloh Terrace Baptist Church in Dallas, has been elected to serve as the next Associate Executive Director of the Baptist General Convention of Texas (BGCT). The Executive Board approved Christina’s nomination by an electronic vote on Oct. 2 following the recommendation of the selection committee. The committee was led by Executive Director David Hardage and included Board Chair Dennis Young and Texas Baptists President Michael Evans.
“It is with great confidence and excitement that we announce Dr. Craig Christina as the next Associate Executive Director of Texas Baptists. After a careful review of all candidates, it was the sense of the Committee that Dr. Christina would best be able to serve and lead us well into the future,” said Hardage. “Personally, I'm looking forward to serving with Dr. Christina. He is a great man, pastor, husband, father and Christ follower.”
Christina served as Senior Pastor of Shiloh Terrace Baptist Church in Dallas for 10 years. He will follow Associate Executive Director Steve Vernon, who served in the position for 11 years and will retire on January 2, 2020.
In his role as Associate Executive Director, Christina will plan, direct and administer the integrated operational activities of BGCT in accordance with the priorities and policies developed by the Executive Director and Executive Board. He will also work to ensure the accomplishment of goals, objectives and strategies in the most effective and cost-efficient manner.
Dennis Young, Executive Board chair and pastor of Missouri City Baptist Church, also gave an endorsement for Christina. "Dr. Christina understands the BGCT, has served on several BGCT committees and has an undergrad degree in business as well as fundraising experience,” Young said. “He expressed his vision for BGCT, can relate to older and younger individuals and is well respected.”
Christina was born and raised in Corpus Christi and has pastored churches in Indiana, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas. In his 25 years of pastoral experience, he has led congregations to become multi-ethnic with greater health and growth.
He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from Baylor University, in Waco; and a Master of Divinity and Doctor of Philosophy from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY. He has served as an adjunct professor at Union University and Southern Seminary.
From 2017-2019, Christina served the vice chair of the Executive Board. He also previously chaired the Great Commission Council and the Missions Funding Council.
"Dr. Christina is the man for this very exciting time in the life of our convention,” said Evans, pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Mansfield. “He is a consummate professional and compassionate presence. Craig seems to be the kind of servant-leader that will assist Dr. Hardage and our entire team of denominational servants in fulfilling their call in assisting our churches in their providential assignments. I am enthusiastic about his answer to this call."
In May 1992, Christina was licensed for ministry by First Baptist Church in Corpus Christi. Two years later, he was ordained by Heritage Southern Baptist Church in Vincennes, IN.
Christina has also held numerous positions in denominational service, including his role as Director of Baptist Causes for the Prichard Family Foundation; a member of the Administration and Finance Committees for Dallas Baptist Association; a trustee at Union University; and a member of the Resolutions Committee and Committee for Nominations for the Southern Baptist Convention.
Christina expressed excitement about the new appointment and shared, “I am blessed and honored to be nominated to serve Texas Baptists as the next Associate Executive Director of the Baptist General Convention of Texas.
“Under the strategic leadership of Dr. David Hardage, Texas Baptists continue to expand their impact and influence around our state, nation and world for the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” Christina continued.
“I am excited about the opportunity to implement the vision of Dr. Hardage and the Executive Board as we continue to serve the needs of the local church. At the same time, I celebrate the ministry and legacy of Dr. Steve Vernon whose ‘good and faithful’ service has left an indelible mark on the Kingdom of God. He and Donna will be greatly missed.”
Christina and his wife, Tracy, have two children and reside in Dallas.