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Hawaii Pacific Baptist Convention names interim executive-director

John Endriss, pastor of Engage Church in Hilo, Hawaii and president of the Hawaii Pacific Baptist Executive Board, will serve as the state convention's interim executive director.

HONOLULU (BP) — The executive board of the Hawaii Pacific Baptist Convention (HPBC) announced March 8 that John Endriss will serve as interim executive director during the continued search for a long-term candidate.

Endriss currently serves as pastor of Engage Church in Hilo and is president of the HPBC executive board.

In January, Chris Martin announced he would be departing to accept a position, effective immediately, with the International Mission Board. He had served Hawaii Baptists for 18 years – the last nine as executive director.  

Later that month, the HPBC Executive Board approved a job description and search process for interim executive director-treasurer that was to “hopefully be completed in several weeks.” Officers accepted applications up to Feb. 7 in anticipation of a special-called meeting to approve the interim director.

Endriss shared in a video March 8 that a candidate to fill the interim position had not been identified. Per HPBC bylaws, he had been “serving in a limited function” in the interim role for two weeks in addition to his pastoral responsibilities.

“Today, I want to announce that the officers and the executive board have decided to suspend, or shelve, the search for an interim executive director and simply have me serve in this capacity in the interim,” Endriss said. “This will allow us to move forward and turn our attention to the work we have in finding our long-term executive director-treasurer, and also other items on the board’s agenda.

“My hope is that in the limited duration as your interim executive director … I may be able to help our staff and our convention continue in the work God has for us.”

Endriss went on to say that his focus as interim will be “to help sustain our unity and focus on our mission.”

The HPBC is a network of 155 churches, 121 of them on the Hawaiian Islands. It includes the South Pacific Baptist Association (American Samoa and Samoa), the Baptist Association of Micronesia (Guam and Saipan) and churches that are part of the Asia Baptist Network (Okinawa, Mainland Japan, South Korea, Thailand and Philippines).

It is easily the largest network of Southern Baptist churches in terms of distance, stretching more than 6,800 miles from Puna Baptist on the east coast of Hawai’i Island to Calvary International Baptist Church, south of Bangkok.

A series of town hall meetings will take place in the coming weeks to receive input from churches.

“I believe there is still so much God has for us to accomplish together this year, and it will take each of us,” Endriss said. “So, I ask for your help as we work together through the transitions of this year, and I thank all of you who have invested in the great work of this convention, that has impacted my church and my life. May God continue to use our convention in great ways in this year as we glorify Christ.”