Post: TBF President Bill Gruenewald Announces Retirement Plans


By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor of the Baptist & Reflector, Tennessee Baptist Mission Board

Bill Gruenewald, president-treasurer of the Tennessee Baptist Foundation since 2014, has announced his plans to retire on Oct. 31, 2024.

Gruenewald informed TBF trustees of his intentions at their December board meeting. If needed, he said he would remain “a few months longer” in order to ease the transition.

Gruenewald joined the Foundation in 2011 as executive vice president and served for three years before being elected president after the retirement of H. Garrison (Gary) Coltharp. Prior to joining the Foundation staff, he served as minister of business administration at First Baptist Church, Hendersonville, from 1998-2011.

He shared with trustees that “it has been a great privilege to serve and to lead this magnificent organization. This has been the most rewarding and fruitful chapter of my ministry career, but the time has come for the next chapter,” he said.

The Tennessee Baptist Foundation, organized in 1938, assists individual Tennessee Baptists as well as Tennessee Baptist Convention churches, association and entities with estate and planned giving to help advance the Great Commission, according to the TBF website.

The Foundation currently has $180 million in assets under management.

The Brownsville native observed that the Tennessee Baptist Foundation is at a significant point in its history. “God has blessed the Foundation for 85 years and I believe that he will continue to bless and guide us into the future.

“Now, the time has come for new innovations and fresh leadership,” he added.

Gruenewald asked for prayers for Foundation leaders during the transition as they search for a new president-treasurer. He also asked for prayers for himself as he moves to a new ministry assignment.

“When you are called by God, you never really retire. You simply move to a new place of service,” he said.

Current TBF trustee chairman Chad Keaton expressed appreciation to Gruenewald for his leadership with the Foundation.

“I have had the privilege of working with Bill for several years and Bill has consistently worked to improve the Tennessee Baptist Foundation,” he observed.

“Bill is one of those unique individuals with a great business mind and a pastors heart. He makes everyone around him better,” added Keaton, a member of Wallace Memorial Baptist Church, Knoxville.