One Priority Briefing for Congregational Leaders from George Bullard – Monday, June 14, 2021


A Family of Baptist Congregations in the Midlands of South Carolina

Our One Priority: Starting and Strengthening Churches to Serve as Vital and Vibrant Missional Communities.

CMBA Staff Retirements Announced at VLC Meeting

The CMBA Visionary Leadership Community (VLC) met Thursday, June 10, at Belmont Baptist to conduct business and share ministry updates. This was the first meeting following the decision to transition to virtual CMBA operations. Monthly VLC meetings will now be held in different churches throughout the association, allowing new introductions to these church campuses and staff members.

During the meeting, Community Impact Ministry Mobilizer Cathy Locklear announced her retirement effective August 31, 2021. Citing the need for more time with family, Locklear expressed appreciation for the ministry opportunities she has experienced during her 22 years with the CMBA. Executive Director George Bullard praised her service, saying she is “the most valuable employee we have had at the association” given her extensive knowledge of individual and church ministries throughout the Midlands. He said an ad-hoc committee will address a plan for interim ministry needs.

Bullard officially presented his own letter of retirement to VLC members effective June 30, 2022, fulfilling his long-held plan to transition out of his current leadership role and join his wife Betty in pursuing their retirement “bucket list.” Bullard assured the VLC that his work with churches will continue unchanged through the coming year and reminded them that CMBA’s upcoming Denominee Journey visioning process can provide a seamless entry point for the next director of missions.

Per CMBA bylaws, Moderator Jay Thompson, pastor of Cedar Creek Baptist, will assemble a search committee for a new executive director. Thompson told VLC members that in the coming weeks there will be celebration plans for Locklear’s retirement and Bullard plans to allow a new executive director to fill the Community Impact Ministry Mobilizer position. Thompson said he will present the names of a five-member executive director search committee with alternate members to VLC in August.

CMBA Moving to an All Virtual Office

CMBA is giving up its office location at North Trenholm Baptist Church to go all virtual. North Trenholm became the office when CMBA sold its building in December 2019. During the pandemic, the staff realized that it functioned as well – if not better – without traveling to the office. By the end of June, the offices will be closed, and staff will work from home. This affects George Bullard, Executive Director, and Cathy Locklear, Impacting Communities Mobilizer.

Meetings and other gatherings will be held throughout the association in various church facilities so our Visionary Leadership Community (VLC), CMBA Team Huddle, Thriving Congregations Team, and other ministry groups can get to know our churches, pastors, and staff much better. Our larger churches will host bigger gatherings where there is more space and hospitality services.


CMBA staff and mobilizers are engaged with each of these congregations as part of our focus on new congregational expressions. Lead and assisting congregations in our family are encouraged to pray for and support the ministry of these congregations.

About the author 

Kyndra Bremer