EDITOR’S NOTE: Baptist Press today has carried a 12-part series this week re-publishing some of the most significant stories of 2010. This separate story focuses on the retirements last year of two key Southern Baptist leaders — Jerry Rankin and Morris H. Chapman.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–No recap of Southern Baptist life in 2010 can be complete without spotlighting two men whose names will be prominent in history books of the SBC in the years ahead.
On Aug. 1, Jerry Rankin retired after 17 years as president of the SBC’s International Mission Board.
On Sept. 30, Morris H. Chapman retired after 18 years as president of the SBC’s Executive Committee.
Both the IMB and EC are intertwined in facilitating Southern Baptists’ global missions outreach. During the span of Rankin’s and Chapman’s tenures, the overseas missionary force expanded to more than 5,000 while Cooperative Program support for the IMB increased to $100 million.
Baptist Press carried two in-depth recaps of each man’s service to Southern Baptists.
For Rankin, go to BP stories on July 28, “Rankin, IMB no strangers to change” at http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?id=33425  and “Rankin: 40 years of Gospel mission” at http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?id=33426 .
For Chapman, go to BP stories on Sept. 20, “Morris H. Chapman: A legacy of leadership & vision” at http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?id=33716  and “Chapman reflects on joys & challenges” at http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?id=33717 .
The two leaders, though equally committed to Southern Baptist missions and ministries, took divergent stances at the end of their tenures on the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force report and recommendations, which were approved during the June 2010 annual meeting of the SBC in Orlando, Fla. Various GCR-related news stories, articles, papers and opinion pieces can be accessed at http://www.baptist2baptist.net/Issues/GCR/default.asp .
Chapman’s successor, Frank Page, a former SBC president, was elected by the Executive Committee on June 14 to assume the office on Oct. 1. An IMB search committee, meanwhile, is continuing its work to recommend Rankin’s successor to the mission board’s trustees.
Art Toalston is editor of Baptist Press.