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New Locations, New Name, New Staff

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California Baptist Foundation has relocated to two new offices, changed its name, and hired several new staff members, all as a part of a board authorized plan to relocate, rebrand, and restructure.

A Relocation of the Foundation’s office, which has been based in Fresno for 65 years, is now complete.  Philip Kell, the Foundation’s President says, “Our new offices, one in the Gateway Seminary building in Ontario, and the other in the Convention’s Ministry Resource Center in Fresno, will position us to better serve Southern Baptists throughout California.  We are committed to serving our churches, their ministries and members.  These new locations will allow us to be more in tune with their needs and give us more face time in responding to those needs.”

A Re-branding campaign is introducing a new name and logo.  Since its founding, the Foundation has been known as California Baptist Foundation.  But, in August the foundation’s board of directors approved a name change to the Baptist Foundation of California.  “It is a subtle change, but very intentional,” says Kell.  “We considered a new name without Baptist, Foundation or California in it.  But, after a lengthy study and much prayer, we knew we wanted to keep a strong connection to Baptists and our California history.  We are proud to be known as the Baptist Foundation of California.”

In addition to a name change, a new logo is intended to provide a new face for the Foundation’s values and service.  “Though we are certainly maintaining the integrity and strength of which the Foundation is known, as the organization grows, we want our new logo to be a continual and fresh reminder of the values we cherish and the professional service we provide,” said Kell. “A new name and logo will position us to better communicate our mission to reach and serve even more churches, individuals and institutions.”

The board of directors also authorized the restructuring the Foundation to accommodate new and improved services to be provided by the organization.  That expanded growth and emphasis has necessitated the hire of new staff members to strengthen the team.  Among those staff members recently added to the leadership team are Tom Jones and Harold Woodall… no strangers to California Southern Baptists.

Jones comes to the foundation from his position as the sixth president of Williams Baptist University in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas.  Since he began in 2012, the University has experienced enrollment, academic and athletic advancements, several building renovations the construction of a new residence hall and golf driving range.  In addition, the campus footprint was expanded by 42 acres to a total of almost 250 acres and several large gifts were consummated including a recent $3 million estate gift.

Prior to serving at Williams, Jones served as the Vice President of Advancement for Gateway Seminary for 12 years.  He has also served in the advancement departments for other institutions including California Baptist University.  “Tom brings years of experience, a lifetime of wonderful relationships and some great managerial skills to our team,” says Kell. Jones began his duties December 1.

Woodall comes to the Foundation with more than 30 years of experience in the commercial lending business.  For 10 years he was in charge of lending operations for Ministry Partners, a Southern California financial organization which specializes in church lending.  Prior to that time Woodall worked for Bank of America, California Baptist Foundation and other commercial lending firms.

“Harold is one of the best church lending specialists, if not the best church lending specialist, in the country,” said Kell.  “He knows the church lending business, and he is always focused on the best interests of the church. That is the primary reason we added him to our team.  We exist to serve churches, their members and their institutions.”  Woodall started work this past August.

In addition to these, the Foundation has also added Jonathan Maffei, a Trust Operations Paralegal; Christina Martinez, a Church Lending Assistant; and Bradley Frailey, a senior accountant.

After 25 years of service to the Foundation, Kell is confident in the future ahead.  “The Lord has blessed our service to California Southern Baptists and we are confident these new changes will advance our efforts even more,” he said.  “It is a privilege to serve the Lord Jesus Christ as we assist committed believers in their stewardship of God’s providence.”