EDITOR’S NOTE: This story was updated after its initial posting.

NASHVILLE (BP) — Baptist Global Response CEO Jeff Palmer announced Feb. 20 he will be retiring from his current position in the coming months, prospectively timed for June 2020.

With prior overseas service experience, Palmer said his desire is to return to a more hands-on approach to ministry.

“When I say hands on, that means go back into primary ministry,” Palmer told Baptist Press. “I don’t know exactly what that means and what it will be, but we know God and know that He’s good and faithful and He’s leading in this so we’ll wind up in a great place wherever we’ll be.”

 Although no specific plans are currently in place for Palmer’s future ministry, the transition is being approached with prayer and trust, Palmer said.

“We’re trusting the Lord and we don’t really have any idea what that will be, we’re open to wherever God leads,” Palmer said. 

Paired with the announcement of his retirement, Palmer also confirmed that BGR will become a primary ministry partner of Send Relief, the new cooperative effort between the International Mission Board and the North American Mission Board. (See related story.)

The partnership will streamline ministry surrounding disaster, compassion and crisis response.
“It really is for the first time this kind of coming together and looking at poverty, hunger, disasters, medical healthcare needs, not from an international perspective or just a domestic one,” Palmer said.

Southern Baptists are people who deeply care for others, Palmer noted. And the new “one-stop shop” cooperative effort has the potential to rally more resources than Southern Baptists have been able to before.

“It’s something that we dreamed of for years,” Palmer said. “Now it’s coming to fruition under the Send Relief umbrella.”

Palmer said he will help guide the BGR team in the transition.