He now returns to his home state to take the reins from fellow Texan, Marv Knox, FSW’s founding director who has led the organization since its inception in 2017.
Reeves praised FSW’s ecumenical origins and approach, telling Good Faith Media that he is “excited to grow a network of support beyond typical CBF circles, and that certainly includes more racial diversity among partner churches.”
“While our supporters may not share the same theological convictions or a common doctrine, we can agree about what our faith calls us to do together in the world,” he said.
Knox was the longtime editor of the Baptist Standard, serving in that role for 19 years before helping establish FSW.
Calling Reeves “a wonderful fit” for the organization, Knox told Good Faith Media that Reeves “intuitively understands the Southwest, as well as the myriad issues that shape life here. He ‘gets’ the borderlands and all the cultural, social, economic, political and religious factors that form life across our region.”
“Stephen has a great big heart. He loves people, and it shows,” Knox said. “Folks across Fellowship Southwest are going to resonate with him and respond to his leadership.”
The two will overlap in their service to FSW until Knox’s retirement later this year, with Reeves taking over the day-to-day operations and Knox focusing on specific projects as his tenure wraps up.
“No one can replace Marv Knox,” Reeves told Good Faith Media. “I will be grateful for the strong foundation he has built for years to come. We’ve been friends for years and the opportunity to learn alongside Marv during this transition was a really attractive aspect of this position.”
Describing itself as faithful, agile ecumenical and kind, FSW seeks to provide “a collaborative network for churches that want to organize around shared compassion for people in our region.”
FSW’s work includes border ministry, disaster response and engagement with other social justice matters, with immigration being a significant focus of its initiatives.
Several major events – including Hurricane Harvey and the immigration crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border – took place with Knox at the helm.
Reflecting on such circumstances, he told Good Faith Media that he is thankful for “the well of compassion that exists within Fellowship Southwest” and celebrated the fact that, when it comes to meeting needs, the organization “doesn’t know how to say, ‘We can’t’ or, ‘We won’t.’”
While FSW began as part of CBF global, working to further coordination and collaboration between three state / regional CBF groups – CBF of Texas, CBF of Oklahoma and CBF West – it became an independent non-profit in early 2021.
Good Faith Media has partnered with FSW in a variety of ways since its inception, including naming Jorge Zapata, director of FSW’s immigrant relief ministry, a co-Baptist of the Year for 2019, highlighting Zapata’s and FSW’s border ministry in a series of videos in August 2019, and covering a FSW prayer vigil at the U.S.-Mexico border in June 2019.
Reeves comes to the role with significant knowledge of the region, as well as extensive experience in public policy and advocacy, having served as the director of public policy for the Texas Baptists Christian Life Commission directly prior to his tenure at CBF.
According to the FSW press release, Reeves will continue his advocacy work with CBF global, with FSW receiving financial support from CBF to help fund an associate coordinator.
“Two of our hallmark issues in CBF advocacy have been immigration reform and predatory lending reform. Both of these are major concerns for the Southwest and, therefore, my CBF advocacy work will benefit the region,” Reeves told Good Faith Media. “We will continue to teach and encourage advocacy in congregations as an outgrowth of their mission commitments, and in Fellowship Southwest perhaps non-CBF churches will find our approach beneficial.”
Both Knox and Reeves are currently serving as GFM strategic advisory board members, and Reeves served previously on the EthicsDaily.com / Baptist Center for Ethics board of directors.
“Good Faith Media is excited to hear the news that Fellowship Southwest named Stephen Reeves as their new coordinator,” said Mitch Randall, CEO of Good Faith Media. “It has been an absolute honor to work with Marv Knox and his team for several years. We now look forward to working with Stephen as he continues the excellent and important work of Fellowship Southwest.”