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EC president search team names chair, plans season of prayer

NASHVILLE (BP) – The six-member search team tasked with selecting the next president and CEO of the SBC Executive Committee is calling on all Southern Baptists to be part of the process.

“We want to get the message out that everyone in this convention matters,” said Mike Keahbone, pastor of First Baptist Church in Lawton, Okla. “Everyone has a role to play and if you aren’t involved, your [SBC] family suffers.”

The team held its first meeting March 3 via Zoom, with Keahbone sharing the news of the call to prayer on Twitter March 4. “All of us need to be in fervent prayer for our next leader. #doyourpart,” he wrote.

California pastor and EC chairman Rolland Slade, also a member of the search team in an ex officio role, reported that Adron Robinson, senior pastor of Hillcrest Baptist Church in Country Club Hills, Ill., will serve as chair; David Sons, lead pastor of Lake Murray Baptist Church in Lexington, S.C., will be vice-chair; and Philip Robertson, senior pastor of Philadelphia Baptist Church in Deville, La., will serve as secretary.

“I’m honored my peers selected me for this role and I’ll do my best throughout the process,” said Robinson. “The Lord knows who our next EC president will be and it is our job to seek His will in this process. We’re asking Southern Baptists to join us over the next month for this season of prayer so we can hear from God collectively and be of one accord.”

In looking through documentation of previous searches for a president/CEO, the team noticed there hadn’t been a recorded call to prayer for Southern Baptists on the matter. The current season in the convention cries out for it, Keahbone commented. 

“With everything going on – racial reconciliation, the abuse investigation, and a report about to come out on it – there are a lot of eyes on the SBC,” he said. “This hire could be one of the most significant we’ve ever made.”

A prayer strategy will be shared by the group soon, Keahbone added. Other members of the team are Mollie Duddleston, director of ministry operations at Cross Church in Springdale, Ark., and Jeremy Morton, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Woodstock, Ga.

“We need to rally everyone connected to Southern Baptists to take a season and enter a time of fervent prayer for who God is going to put in that position, for us to have wisdom and discernment,” Keahbone said. “We want this to be God’s man, and everyone is excited about that.”