POSTED 11:55 a.m. March 1, 2007
ALPHARETTA, GA. (BP)–The president search committee of the North American Mission Board’s trustees recommended March 1 that Geoffrey A. Hammond become the Southern Baptist entity’s next president. Hammond is senior associate director of the Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia state convention.
NAMB’s trustees will vote on the recommendation at a March 20-21 special meeting in Alpharetta, Ga. If approved, Hammond would become NAMB’s president-elect, officially beginning his duties at the May 8-9 board meeting and starting fulltime on May 22, search committee chairman Greg Faulls said.
“Dr. Hammond has proven himself to be a successful leader, strategist and practitioner in church planting missions and evangelism throughout his ministry career,” Faulls said. “NAMB is a missions agency in need of a strong leader with the mind of a missiologist and with a vision to strategically mobilize an army of missionaries who will spread the Gospel and plant churches throughout an ethnically diverse North America.”
Hammond, 49, was born in Nigeria to missionary parents serving with the SBC International Mission Board. He earned the equivalent of a business degree in administration in Zimbabwe, passing the final examination of the Chartered Institute of Secretaries and Administrators (UK). He is a graduate of Spurgeon’s Seminary in London, England, and he holds a doctor of ministry degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, majoring in evangelism and missions.
Hammond has served throughout his career as pastor, church planter, staff member of mega-churches, IMB missionary to Brazil, seminary professor, director of missions, NAMB-appointed missionary, church planting strategist; for the past five years, he has been as a senior associate state executive, serving with the SBCV.
“Hammond understands missions at every level,” Faulls said. “He has proven skills and experience planting churches and strategically directing church planting in associations and a state convention. He is gifted in leadership and adept in the areas of business administration. He is bilingual and has a grasp of the complexity and diversity of the harvest field and clearly understands the importance and dynamics of NAMB’s relationships with her state partners. In addition, he is fully supportive of the Baptist Faith and Message 2000.”
Hammond and his wife Deborah have two sons, Timothy and Nicholas.
“As a third-generation missionary,” Hammond said, “my heartbeat has always been reaching people with the Gospel no matter where they live. I believe the North American Mission Board is the greatest missionary agency for reaching North America for Christ and it is the greatest honor of my life to be nominated for this position.”
“Our president search committee has been thorough and prayerful in seeking God’s man for NAMB,” said Bill Curtis, NAMB trustee chairman. “I can say with confidence that the search committee has worked diligently on the behalf of Southern Baptists and the board throughout this process, and they look forward to bringing a report on the journey and to presenting Dr. Geoff Hammond at the March board meeting.”
Curtis also said, “I wish to express my gratitude to every member of the NAMB staff. During the past year I have observed our wonderful staff rise to every challenge with faith and cooperation. As we prepare to move into a new phase of NAMB’s history, I am confident that the staff and our committed missionaries will continue to rise as they work together in advancing evangelism, church planting and the strengthening of churches throughout North America.”
The recommendation of Hammond follows an intense 10-month search that began with the committee’s commitment to continually pray, follow a thorough, patient process, and resist outside political influences. “We determined what we were going to do was seek God’s man,” Faulls said. “There was never a predetermined person. We were faithful to follow our process and allow God to reveal His choice. We considered a wide variety of candidates from all corners of Southern Baptist life: pastors, seminary professors, state executives, missionaries, evangelists, as well as staff members of denominational agencies.”
NAMB, an entity of the Southern Baptist Convention, is led by a 60-member board of trustees. In April 2006, after the resignation of former President Robert E. Reccord, then-board chairman Barry Holcomb appointed a nine-member search committee: chairman Greg Faulls of Kentucky, vice chairman David Crump of Oklahoma, Dennis Culbreth of Virginia, Ellie Ficken of Alabama, Terry Fox of Kansas, Barbara McCormick of South Carolina, Michael Palmer of Idaho, Ryan Palmer of Maryland and Jeff Shirley of Texas.
NAMB in partnership with state conventions has placed 5,000 missionaries throughout the United States and Canada for the primary purpose of evangelization and church planting. Southern Baptists support the work of NAMB primarily through Cooperative Program giving and the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering.