On June 1, Andrew Westmoreland assumed the duties of the presidency at Samford University. One would guess that his first day would have been spent on the campus of the university seeking to get his mind around the orbit of responsibilities which are his in this strategic new role of leadership. You might be surprised to know that most of Westmoreland’s first day on the job was devoted to visiting with Alabama Baptists in Montgomery.
The Committee on Boards and Commissions met on June 1, and Andrew Westmoreland was present for the meeting. The committee would have understood had he decided to send a representative to the meeting. After all, this was the very first day of work. This is not Andy Westmoreland’s style. He is a solid state convention supporter and his presence underscored that fact.
Following the meeting of the committee Westmoreland visited the various offices of ministry at the State Board of Missions. He stayed for lunch and then joined me in my office for a lengthy get acquainted session, which I enjoyed thoroughly.
Westmoreland has come to Alabama from Arkansas, where he served as president of Ouachita Baptist University for eight years. While giving leadership to Ouachita, Andy was actively participating in Arkansas Baptist life. He is an excellent churchman and family man. Although Andy is a well-trained academic administrator, he also is a very personable and practical-minded Christian leader.
Speaking of leadership, Westmoreland has written a book on the topic. Leading By Design is one of those resources every pastor, church staff member and layperson would find helpful. Using the example of Jesus, Westmoreland discusses how leaders are to best relate to twelve different type individuals. I have enjoyed reading and referencing the book, and I feel others will experience the same satisfaction after reflecting over this thoughtful material.
Andrew Westmoreland is a valuable addition to Alabama Baptist life. He is available to speak at our churches, and he wants to meet our people. Of course, there is much Andy has to do to get to know his new role as president of a world-class Christian university, but I wanted you to know how much this man has impressed me as he has begun his ministry in Alabama. Welcome to the family, Andy!!!