on Monday, May 2, 2022

New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary has selected Reggie Ogea to lead the work of the newly created Jim Henry Leadership Institute.

The school also announced that the first Henry Institute event, the Prepare Here Conference, is scheduled for Oct. 14-15, 2022, in New Orleans. Jim Henry will be among the featured speakers at the conference. For more information about the conference, visit www.nobts.edu/prepare/here.html

“Leadership is always tough, but it is especially difficult right now. As such we are thankful to partner with Jim Henry to strengthen our current and future leaders in SBC work,” said Jamie Dew, president of NOBTS and Leavell College. “This institute allows us to cultivate the next generation of leaders while also encouraging those who are already leading.”

Ogea, who serves as professor of leadership and pastoral ministry and associate dean of Professional Doctoral Programs at NOBTS, was instrumental in creating the institute along with NOBTS professor Jim Parker. Ogea brings a wealth of experience to the task. He spent 20 years pastoring local churches before leading the associational work for the North Shore Baptist Association in Louisiana. After serving as a DOM for four years, Ogea joined the NOBTS faculty and spent the next 20 years training pastors. As a professor, leader of the seminary’s doctor of ministry program, and associate dean of professional doctoral programs, Ogea taught primarily in the area of pastoral leadership.

The idea came as Ogea and Parker talked about the challenges facing leaders and the unique needs of today's churches. They believe skilled and principled Christian leadership can help churches thrive despite the challenges. As Ogea and Parker dreamed about creating a leadership institute, they thought of Henry’s long, steady church leadership and wanted to name it in his honor.

“We sensed a great need in SBC life for intentional leadership training,” Ogea said. “The Jim Henry Leadership Institute will position NOBTS to impact pastoral leadership in the SBC strategically.”

The institute's five focal areas are research fellowships, an annual leadership conference, leadership summits, publishing, and consultation. The institute will award research fellowships to doctoral students to study key leadership challenges, including pastoral tenure, ministerial wellness, burnout prevention, pastoral transition, and strategic leadership proficiencies. The annual conference, one-day leadership summits, and consultation work will offer practical leadership training to help churches and their leaders thrive despite challenges. The publishing work will provide practice resources and research to help address leadership issues and foster strategic leadership.


The institute honors the ministry of Jim Henry, an NOBTS graduate and longtime pastor who served as president of the Southern Baptist Convention in 1994 and 1995. Under Henry's leadership from 1977 until 2006, First Baptist Church in Orlando, Florida, grew to a congregation of 10,000 plus members. The church consistently gave sacrificially to the shared work of Southern Baptist through the Cooperative Program. A few years after his retirement from Orlando First, Henry began pastoring again. According to Henry, he was "redeployed” as pastor of Downtown Baptist Church in Orlando from 2015 until 2019.

During his time at NOBTS, Henry pastored churches in Alabama and Mississippi. After his graduation, Henry pastored Two Rivers Baptist Church in Nashville, Tennessee, before accepting the call to FBC Orlando.

For more information about the Jim Henry Leadership Institute, visit  www.nobts.edu/henryinstitute