By Stephanie Heading, managing editor
On October 1, a new full-time staff member is joining the SCBO team.
Buzz Kocher, who currently serves with the North American Mission Board (NAMB) as a Send Network Ohio Church Planter Catalyst, will leave that role to become the SCBO Director of Strategic Initiatives.
“I am thrilled to announce the addition of Buzz to our team,” said Dr. Jeremy Westbrook, SCBO executive-director treasurer. “His love for the local church, associations, and our state convention is contagious. His impact will be immediate as he helps to oversee the Cooperative Program, convention partnerships, and catalysts for the SCBO.”
Kocher has been part of Southern Baptist work in Ohio, having served at Lifepoint Church, Delaware, as the College and Young Adult Pastor for five and a half years before joining NAMB.
“After joining NAMB in December 2020, I started learning about our convention and all it has to offer,” he said. “It got me excited about our state. Ohio has a lot of potential. God is moving.”
Ohio has a lot of potential. God is moving.
During his time with NAMB Kocher served eastern Ohio, working with, and encouraging church planters across that area of the state. “I have relationships across eastern Ohio and now I will be able to build relationships with pastors around the state.” As he develops these relationship, Kocher hopes to find ways to serve churches and pastors.
“This is why we do this,” he noted. “We go on mission together.” He said that sometimes we say we are “in this together” to other Christian organizations, but in the SBC, it takes on greater meaning.
“The SBC takes this to a whole new level,” said Kocher. “Based on the Baptist Faith and Message, we lock arms with 47,000 churches. We see unity conventionally and unity in working together. There’s nothing like it in the whole world.”
Kocher believes that Southern Baptists working together will reach the lost and raise the next generation of pastors from within our churches.
“Evangelism is important, but we must disciple our people. We have plenty of places to plant and replant churches, but we don’t have the people to pastor the churches,” he said. “We need to lead our people to find pastors from within our churches.”