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Abundance of first-time trustees to help guide SBC entities

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–An array of fresh faces joined the boards of the Southern Baptist Convention’s entities on the opening day of the SBC’s annual meeting in Nashville, Tenn.

Messengers approved 166 nominees from the Committee on Nominations, 81 of whom were eligible for second terms and agreed to serve.

Of the remaining 85, committee chairman Wayne Lee said 82 have not served on an SBC board, which he described as unprecedented.

Lee noted that 42 were pastors or church-related employees with an average age under 45.

Of the 43 new laypeople elected to serve, Lee said a high percentage come from executive and leadership positions in major corporations. “These types of skills are absolutely essential in the Kingdom growth of our entities,” said Lee, of Southlake, Texas, and a member of First Baptist Church in Euless, Texas.

The son of a Baptist pastor and church planter who spent more than 50 years in small remote churches, Lee also commented that “the real heart and soul of the convention lies in those thousands of small churches, where the pastors may be out of their comfort zones but are the unsung heroes for the Kingdom.” Thus, more than 70 percent of the new trustees come from medium and small churches, Lee stated, describing the slate as “representing a good cross section of SBC life.”

Those elected by SBC messengers June 21 will serve as trustees with the International Mission Board, North American Mission Board, LifeWay Christian Resources, GuideStone Financial Resources, the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, the Executive Committee and the convention’s six seminaries.

“Each nominee is a dedicated, faithful member of a local Southern Baptist church, with a clear testimony of salvation, baptism by immersion and a commitment to fulfill the Great Commission,” Lee stated.

“They are all in agreement with the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message and are personally committed to the Cooperative Program and are members of churches that unashamedly support the Cooperative Program,” Lee added, referring to Southern Baptists’ channel of support for national and international missions and ministries.