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Bill Pinson to retire Jan. 31, 2000 as Texas Baptist executive director

DALLAS (BP)–William M. “Bill” Pinson Jr. has announced his plans to retire as executive director of the 2.7 million-member Baptist General Convention of Texas Jan. 31, 2000.
Pinson announced his retirement plans at the Jan. 28 meeting of the BGCT administrative committee. He was elected executive director of the BGCT executive board in May 1982, assuming the post in January 1983.
At its Feb. 23 meeting in Dallas, the BGCT executive board will elect a search committee to recommend Pinson’s successor.
“August of this year, the Lord willing, I will celebrate my 65th birthday. Although 65 is no longer a required age for retirement, it has always been in my mind the age at which I would retire from my present position. However, believing that age is not an arbitrary factor in retirement and that God’s will is the essential matter to consider, for a number of months I have sought his direction. I believe God has given me clear affirmation for the timing of my retirement as executive director,” Pinson wrote in a memo to the BGCT executive board.
“While rejoicing in this place of service — a ministry in which I have been allowed to serve longer than any other person in history — God has indicated to me that it is ‘time to go.’ For over a year I have been feeling this sense of God’s direction to retire early in 2000, but to have made this announcement earlier would have created a period of uncertainty about executive director leadership longer than necessary in Texas Baptist life.”
Pinson cited seven reasons for the timing of his decision:
— The good condition of the BGCT and its ministries. “Last year was arguably the best year in the history of the convention, with records set in area after area. … We are not adrift; we have direction and momentum. Overall, the institutions related to the BGCT have never been healthier. The financial condition of the executive board has never been stronger.”
— The climax of the Texas 2000 five-year emphasis. “The development of any new priorities and vision for the 21st century ought to include the person most responsible for helping to carry out the strategy — the executive director. Thus, before the next planning process is completed, I believe that the new executive director ought to be elected.”
— The upcoming retirements of other BGCT administration staff. “These are people who relate most closely with the executive director in the function of the executive board and of the convention. I believe that the person to serve in the coming years as executive director ought to have the opportunity to be involved in filling these positions as persons retire.”
— The need for organizational evaluation and possible restructuring. “A change in executive leadership provides an optimum time for evaluation and possible changes.”
— Stable leadership. “… excellent leadership is in place throughout the Baptist General Convention of Texas in boards, commissions, councils and committees related to the convention, thus providing stability in a time of transition of executive leadership.” — Ongoing work. “… major projects for the next one to three years have financial support, personnel and structure in place. Therefore, during a transition time in the office of the executive director these ought to be able to continue in a positive way.”
— Good potential future leaders. “… the number of dedicated persons qualified to be executive director encourage me about the future. From among these God will provide an executive director for the 21st century in Texas Baptist life.”
As executive director, Pinson has served as coordinator and liaison between the executive board and the universities, hospitals, child-care homes, elder-care homes and missions enterprises supported by about 6,000 Baptist churches throughout Texas.
He also has supervised the work of about 300 employees on the executive board staff in Dallas.
During his tenure as executive director, Pinson led the statewide Mission Texas emphasis, resulting in the starting of 2,000 new churches and missions in the 1980s. Currently, he is guiding the Texas 2000 campaign to reach every Texan with the gospel by the year 2000.
Pinson, a native of Fort Worth, came to the BGCT after five years as president of Golden Gate Theological Seminary in Mill Valley, Calif.
He was pastor of First Baptist Church in Wichita Falls from 1975-77. From 1963-75, he was professor of Christian ethics at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth. He served as associate secretary of the Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission from 1957 to 1963.
Pinson earned a bachelor of arts degree from North Texas State University (now the University of North Texas) at Denton in 1955. He holds masters and doctorate degrees from Southwestern Seminary.

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  • Ken Camp