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Hammond gets unanimous NAMB vote

ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP)–By unanimous vote, trustees of the North American Mission Board elected church planting missionary Geoff Hammond as president of the North American Mission Board today (March 21).

The vote came after trustees met in executive session Tuesday, March 20, to review Hammond’s nomination and interact with the candidate and his wife Debbie.

“It’s a long way from Ogbomosho, Nigeria, to Atlanta, Ga.,” Hammond said, referring to his birth to missionaries in the African nation. “And I am not here today because of anything I have done, but because of who He is.”

In brief remarks to the trustees after the vote, Hammond outlined his vision for NAMB and the need for the Gospel in North America.

“I grew up as a kid looking at North America as a place that already had the Gospel,” Hammond said. “That was until I came here. The longer I am here, the more I am convinced that we need to see North America as a mission field.”

Hammond is the son and grandson of missionaries and currently serves as a NAMB church planting missionary with the Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia (SBCV) convention. He also serves as senior associate director of the SBCV.

“I am a missionary,” Hammond said. “I want NAMB to be a missionary agency in all we do. I want us to be missionary-minded in all we do. I want us to think like missionaries. I want us to have a missionary culture in this building. I pray that when you walk in this building, you will feel like this is a missionary place.”

Hammond joked that when he entered the NAMB building the day before, he was given a temporary name badge. Upon entering on Wednesday, he wore the missionary badge issued to him when he became a NAMB missionary several years ago.

“I know I’ll be receiving a new badge soon but if you don’t mind, I’m going to hold on to my missionary badge as well.”

Hammond was recommended March 1 by NAMB’s president search committee after a nine-month search.

“We were so moved by the hand of God through the process concerning Dr. Hammond that we are presenting a recommendation to you unanimously as a committee — a true unanimous recommendation from our committee,” Greg Faulls, chairman of the president search committee, told fellow trustees.

“We had no pre-determined candidate,” Faulls said. “We were looking for someone who was not just mission-minded but had the mind of a missionary. Someone who could think like a missiologist and could shape missions work at NAMB and with our state partners.”

In his address to trustees after the vote, Hammond cited Isaiah 6 as a passage of Scripture God used to speak to his heart during the process of interviewing for the NAMB presidency. In that passage, God asks the prophet Isaiah, “Whom shall I send?”

“I tried to jump out of the process several times and God would not let me,” Hammond said. “I wanted to say, ‘Here I am Lord, in Virginia.’ I thought, ‘We can’t leave this place, we have a son who’s going to be a senior next year, things are going well with this job, this is the best we’ve ever had it!’ I thought we had come to our last stop when we went to Virginia.

“And I remember the day when I had to come face to face with the fact that I was willing to do anything for God except one thing. So I had to say, ‘Here am I. Send me.’ Perhaps that is a passage God will use to touch you today and to touch Southern Baptists.”

Hammond asked trustees and Southern Baptists to pray for spiritual awakening and revival and that revival would start with NAMB and spread throughout the Southern Baptist Convention.

“I believe today is a divine moment and God has called me to seize it and He is calling the NAMB staff and missionaries to seize it.”

Hammond will officially assume his duties at the trustees’ May 8-9 meeting in Alpharetta, Ga.
Mickey Noah contributed to this article.

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  • Mike Ebert