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Familiar Kentucky Baptist leader to head Kentucky Baptist Foundation


A familiar Kentucky Baptist leader is scheduled to take the helm at the Kentucky Baptist Foundation on July 1.

French Harmon was elected at the May 2020 Kentucky Baptist Convention Mission Board meeting to follow Richard Carnes as president and CEO. Carnes is retiring June 30.

French Harmon

Harmon has served as senior pastor at First Baptist Church Somerset since 2007. He was the team leader for church development at the Kentucky Baptist Convention from 2004 until 2007. He has pastored churches in Kentucky since 1989, including Fort Mitchell Baptist and First Baptist Church in Allen.

At the May 4 meeting, Harmon praised the work of Carnes and said he would "approach the work of the foundation with a pastor's heart."

Harmon laid out a vision to help the foundation build bridges to churches, increase the visibility of the foundation among Kentucky Baptists and increase their use of technology to serve Kentucky Baptists interests.

He has six post-secondary degrees, including a Ph.D. from the University of the Cumberlands. He also holds an Executive Education Certificate from Harvard University Kennedy School focused on non-profit financial stewardship.

He has also worked as a professor at the University of the Cumberlands since 2013, teaching courses in leadership and the politics of educational decision-making.

Harmon will use his past experience to lead the foundation, which provides charitable gift consultation for individuals and investment management oversight and accounting services to Kentucky and Southern Baptist-related churches, associations, institutions and agencies and certain other non-profit organizations.

The foundation currently oversees around $200 million in funds.

Carnes has served two stints at the KBF. The first from 1988 until 1995 and the second from 2015 until 2020. He is credited for bringing stability and focus to the organization during his five years as president and CEO.

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