Parker, Ballington, Clark chosen as new leaders of LDS Church

Tue, 03/06/2007 - 7:11pm
By: The Citizen

The Jonesboro Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) has new leadership.

At the semi-annual stake conference on Feb. 18, held at Jonesboro, George Ralph Parker of Fayetteville was named the new stake president by the conference’s presiding general authority, Elder John B. Dickson of the LDS Church’s First Quorum of the Seventy. Parker replaces David H. Ingram of Newnan, who had served as stake president since March 1999.

Called by Dickson as Parker’s counselors were Gerald R. Ballington, also of Fayetteville, as first counselor, and Brian Clark of Sharpsburg as second counselor.

“There is a reason our leadership positions in the Church are voluntary,” noted Ingram, a teacher at East Coweta High School. “The hours and work we give to others is our sacrifice to the Lord, and that’s reward enough for a follower of Jesus Christ.”

The Jonesboro Stake consists of slightly more than 4,200 members in 12 congregations, located in Coweta (two congregations), Fayette (five), Clayton (two), Henry (one), Spalding (one) and Upson (one) counties.

Parker, 45, and a member of the LDS Church’s Fayetteville Ward, is a native of Tooele, Utah, who served a mission in Okayama, Japan, from February 1985 to February 1987. He married Sara Anne Jorgensen in Salt Lake City in June 1987. The Parkers have three children, Jakob Lee (17), Auriana Michelle (16), and Jennifer Lynne (12), and have resided in Fayetteville since November 2003. Parker holds a B.S. in construction management from Brigham Young University and currently works as a construction project manager for Ruby-Collins, Inc.

Ballington was born and raised in South Carolina and converted to the Church in Nashville, Tenn., in 1980. Also a member of the Fayetteville Ward, he served a mission in Sacramento, Calif., from 1982 to 1984.

Ballington was married to LouAnn Cooper in 1984. They have two children, Rachel (21), who is currently serving a mission in Arcadia, Ca., and Brittany (18), who is currently attending The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. Ballington works for Delta Air Lines as a commodity manager in Delta’s supply chain management organization.

A graduate of Auburn University, Clark is married to Lori Clark, a certified personal trainer and aerobics instructor. The Clarks are members of the Sharpsburg Ward and have five children, Danielle (19), Casey (14), Jordan (12), Brian (8) and Payton (4). Clark also holds a master’s in information technology and works for Agile*1, a company that sells technology that simplifies contingent labor payroll and reporting. His interests include basketball, movies and reading.

Prior to his call to the stake presidency, Clark served in the Sharpsburg Ward Bishopric for almost eight years, the last five years as bishop.

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