RICHMOND, Va. (BP)--Tom Elliff is working hard in his early days as president of the International Mission Board to master the complexities of running Southern Baptists' global missions enterprise.
DALLAS (BP)–Without Cooperative Program support, Southern Baptists would not have the International Mission Board, the largest evangelical mission entity in existence, Tom Elliff, the IMB’s new president, told the Florida Baptist Witness after his unanimous election by trustees March 16. “We wouldn’t have our 5,000 boots on the ground,” Elliff said of the Cooperative Program, […]
RICHMOND, Va. (BP)--It was a secret Ishaq* held close for 13 years -- one that caught journeyman missionary Craig Evans* by surprise when the young man revealed it.
(BP)--By a unanimous vote, Thomas (Tom) D. Elliff was elected International Mission Board president March 16 by IMB trustees meeting in Dallas. Elliff, 67, a longtime pastor, Southern Baptist Convention leader and former missionary, will lead one of the largest evangelical missions agencies in an era of rapid change at home and around the globe. The greatest mission challenges, he said, are the world’s overwhelming spiritual lostness and the urgency of mobilizing churches to take the Gospel of Christ to all peoples. "We must realize that we’re in a world that is hostile to the message of the Gospel, yet there are so many people who are longing to hear," Elliff said. "That’s why we must go to the uttermost now. Frankly, I think we live in a generation of students who are asking, 'Why do we keep hearing about these unreached people groups? Why don’t we just go reach them?' I believe we are seeing, even in our own convention, a groundswell of men and women of all ages who have the heart and are willing to go to the unreached now. Addressing questions about his own age, Elliff added: "I’m not coming as an ‘interim.’ I’m coming with a vision -- and I will serve as long as God gives me grace and energy." Elliff succeeds Jerry Rankin as president of the mission board, which serves Southern Baptists and the 5,000 missionaries they send worldwide. Rankin retired July 31, 2010, after 17 years as IMB president. Executive Vice President Clyde Meador has served as interim president during the search for a new leader. "This is the result of many months of missionaries praying, Southern Baptists praying and our trustees praying," said IMB trustee chairman Jimmy Pritchard, who led the presidential search committee. "God has answered our prayer." Southern Baptist Convention President Bryant Wright, who attended the trustee meeting, praised Elliff’s election. "Tom Elliff is a pastor, a missionary, a godly man and a prayer warrior," said Wright, pastor of Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Marietta, Ga. "The preparation of God in this is just fantastic. I’m excited, and I’m thankful that the search committee kept waiting on God, for God’s timing and God’s man. They are to be commended." Frank Page, president of the SBC Executive Committee who also was in attendance, told Baptist Press, "What a unified group of trustees! It was a time of tremendous excitement and joy. "In his inaugural comments, Brother Elliff gave an impassioned call for winning this world to Christ," Page said. "He spoke of the passionate need for churches to be more involved in the work of missions. He also affirmed the centrality of the Cooperative Program to help fund the work of Southern Baptist missions.
[[email protected]@150="Missionaries are not sent by boards. They are not sent by agencies. It's God who calls missionaries through the framework and environment of a local church...."
--Tom Elliff]DALLAS (BP)—If you think Tom Elliff is slowing down, try keeping up with him. He's got energy to burn. The new International Mission Board president sat down (briefly) for a wide-ranging interview before his March 16 election by IMB trustees. He smiled at questions about his age -- he turned 67 in February -- and whether he'll be a "transitional" leader.
DALLAS (BP)--Tom Elliff is the right person for the challenging task as president of the International Mission Board, according to two men who know just how tough the job can be.
DALLAS (BP)--Before outlining his vision of expecting the International Mission Board to be biblical, balanced and bold, newly elected IMB President Tom Elliff leaned over and kissed his wife Jeannie before a receptive audience of trustees, staff and guests.
RICHMOND, Va. (BP)--Thomas (Tom) D. Elliff, longtime Oklahoma pastor, Southern Baptist Convention leader and former missionary, is the unanimous recommendation of a 15-member trustee search committee to be the next president of International Mission Board. The nomination of Elliff -- who served as a missionary to Zimbabwe with his wife, Jeannie, in the early 1980s -- will be presented to the full board of trustees for consideration and a possible vote when they meet March 15-16 in Dallas. If elected, Elliff would succeed Jerry Rankin as leader of the mission board, which coordinates the work of more than 5,000 Southern Baptist missionaries worldwide. Rankin retired as IMB president July 31, 2010, after 17 years at the helm. Veteran missionary and Executive Vice President Clyde Meador currently serves as interim president. IMB trustee chairman Jimmy Pritchard, who has led the presidential search committee throughout its selection process, announced the nomination Feb. 17. He said Elliff emerged as the committee's clear and unanimous choice in January. "Throughout the process, we talked to some great and godly men, but we just could not get a sense of God's peace about any one of them," said Pritchard, pastor of First Baptist Church in Forney, Texas. "When Dr. Elliff's name came before us, we had a subtle sense of God's Spirit speaking to our hearts. That may sound mystical, but that's really what happened.... Every one of us senses that God spoke and said, 'This is the moment you've been praying for. Here is your man.'" Elliff, 66, a Texas native, was twice elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention, in 1996 and 1997, and also served as president of the SBC Pastors' Conference in 1990. He has led several key churches in the denomination, including First Southern Baptist Church of Del City, Okla., where he was pastor for 20 years.
RICHMOND, Va. (BP)--Following is the bio of Tom Elliff, who was the unanimous recommendation of a 15-member board of trustee search committee to be the next president of International Mission Board: