Keith Henry, who served on the Arizona Southern Baptist Convention staff more than 32 years, retired Dec. 31, 2019.

Henry joined the convention staff as Baptist Student Ministries (now Christian Challenge) director at Arizona State University in 1987. He became the AZSBC ministry leadership facilitator in 2001.

“Keith has been a blessing to me personally and to pastors and churches across our state,” wrote AZSBC Executive Director David Johnson in his annual report to Arizona Southern Baptists. “From the early days of leading student work at Arizona State University to facilitating new vision for churches and coaching pastors, Keith has been instrumental in the work of our convention.”

Henry said he values the relationships he established through the years.

“I have served with wonderful people and under great leaders: Bill May (who hired me), Dan Stringer, Steve Bass, Byron Banta, David Johnson,” he said. “I am grateful to Eddy Pearson, Keith Durham and Amy Medley, with whom I have worked closely on our church life team. … I value the relationships of people: students from my years as BSU/CC director at ASU, and church leaders all around the state.”

He places high value on the contributions of his wife, Debbie.

“Although I was the person on salary for our convention, Debbie and I have always worked as a team, and without her love, encouragement and support, I would never have been able to serve in pastoral ministry,” he said.

As a facilitator with the church life team, Henry said his goal has always been to lead by example.

“Specifically, I value integrity and being a servant leader like Jesus —  a pretty high standard,” he said. “I hoped to create a culture of coaching and positive transition for leaders, so that we can see many pastors serve well and finish well the ministry God has called them to. In the case of the AZSBC staff, God has blessed that dream by raising up Brad Schneeflock, our Christian Challenge state leader, and Keith Durham, our new church health facilitator. The list of pastors is really long, so I dare not begin naming individuals. Our pastors are great men.”

His retirement is not a farewell, Henry said.

“Debbie and I will continue to live in Arizona,” he said. “As the Lord gives us opportunity, [we’ll continue] to contribute to the ministries of our church, Love Baptist in Phoenix, and our AZSBC as we work together to make disciples in Arizona and around the world, so that the lives of individuals, families and communities will be transformed by the gospel.”

Henry will help with ongoing AZSBC projects on a contract basis.

“I look forward to continue coaching pastors and training pastors and church leaders to be coaches,” he said. “I also look forward to supporting Keith Durham by being a vision navigator for Church Unique and a pathfinder for Refocus. Both of these are tools to help churches identify the uniqueness God has placed within them and the opportunity that the future offers to reach people for Jesus.”