Seven Questions with Alan Cross – California Southern Baptist Convention
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7 Questions with Alan Cross

Alan Cross
North Bay Association Director of Missions
This week we would like to introduce you to Alan Cross. This North Bay Association Director of Missions is probably the MOST excited for the 2023 SBC Annual Meeting, taking place in New Orleans for the sole fact that he grew up there! Not only will he be getting to spend time with his national church family, but his family-family too! (He proudly sports a New Orleans Saints banner in his office at home!). This husband, father, and pastor at Petaluma Valley Baptist Church completed his MDiv at Golden Gate (now Gateway) and is currently completing a doctoral program at Fuller Seminary. Mr. Cross is a southerner at heart, having spent 40+ years between Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. However, he is regularly making it a point to get out into nature every weekend for a hike and enjoy the beautiful scenery Petaluma (and California) has to offer!

What book are you currently reading?

I’m actually reading a lot lately, especially for my doctoral program. Let’s see, this morning I was reading, “The Cross-Cultural Process in Christian History,” by Andrew Walls. He had served as a missionary in West Africa.

What biblical character (other than Jesus) would you want to meet, and why?

Anyone from the Bible would be an amazing opportunity to get to speak with, but if I got to choose, I would want to sit and talk with Mary. We know a lot about Jesus’ early life because of her. I’d like to talk with her and learn what it was like to be the mother of Jesus, observing him and his ministry. I think, as a whole, our community forgets about her and focuses more on the 12 disciples. But she saw his life, and death, and it would be fascinating to learn her perspective more.

In-N-Out or Chick-fil-A?

Chick-fil-A. Both places are good. Chick-fil-A is definitely the one for my family and -again- being from the south, chicken wins over burgers any day.

What is your favorite Bible verse?

The last couple weeks, I’ve been preaching from Philippians. Two passages have really stood out, Philippians 2:1-5, and then 2:4-9. First, I like the idea of putting the interests of others ahead of my own and having the same attitude as Christ; just to live our lives and try to be examples of God’s love in how we treat others and how we see others, putting their interests before our own. Growing up, my grandmother used to quote verses 4 through 9 to me. So yeah, I would say Philippians has been really meaningful to me throughout much of my life.

Tell us something that nobody knows about you.

One of my favorite things I’ve ever done in my whole life was coaching my sons’ basketball teams when they were in elementary school and middle school. It was a lot of fun. It was a church league basketball team, and we ended up winning two of the league championships. I always look back on that with pride and reminisce on the experience of being able to coach them in basketball, which is my favorite sport. I was never a great player, but I think it’s a beautiful game.

When you were in high school what career had you imagined you would be in right now?

It definitely was not ministry. I would have laughed if someone would have said I would be a pastor. I was in church, but just never even considered it before. That’s something other people did. I think the way I am shaped and wired, I would have been great at being an analyst for the CIA or military intelligence. I love culture, history, geopolitics, and all that!

When you think through all the names of Christ, what name resonates with you right now and why?

Christ the Savior. We can’t save ourselves. He came to seek and save the lost. I just look to him as Savior.