RICHMOND, Va.(BP) — The International Mission Board will install Paul Chitwood formally as its 13th president on Feb. 6 at Grove Avenue Baptist Church in Richmond, Va.
The public is invited to attend the installation service, which will include a Sending Celebration honoring the appointment of 19 new Southern Baptist international missionaries.
The IMB’s board of trustees unanimously elected Chitwood, 48, as president of the organization on Nov. 15 in Richmond. Chitwood, who previously served as executive director of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, took office immediately as president of the 173-year-old entity, the largest denominational missionary-sending body among American evangelicals. More than 3,600 Southern Baptist international missionaries serve worldwide.
The special service will include a charge to the new president and the new missionaries by Tom Elliff, former IMB president, who served in the role from 2011-2014. Other notable guests who will participate in the service include IMB President Emeritus Jerry Rankin, who served as IMB president from 1993-2010; J.D. Greear, president of the Southern Baptist Convention and pastor of The Summit Church in Durham, N.C.; Sandy Wisdom-Martin, executive director/treasurer of the Woman’s Missionary Union in Birmingham, Ala.; Chuck Pourciau, chairman of the trustee presidential search committee and senior pastor of Broadmoor Baptist Church in Shreveport, La.; and Clyde Meador, IMB’s interim executive vice president.
Dozens of Southern Baptist leaders endorsed Chitwood as the IMB’s next president.
“I have had the privilege of witnessing first-hand the quiet grace, genuine humility and incredible effectiveness with which Dr. Chitwood has carried out his many roles as husband and father, teacher, pastor, IMB board chairman, and executive director of the Kentucky Baptist Convention,” Elliff said. “As many … will testify, Paul Chitwood is eminently qualified to serve in this new role. It will be a privilege to pray for him faithfully as he assumes leadership in this new era of advance in global missions.”
The service will be broadcast via Livestream on Feb. 6 at 6:30 p.m. at Grove Avenue Baptist Church in Richmond.