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Ill. board elects Lang as executive director

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (BP)–The Illinois Baptist State Association’s board of directors voted 55-2 to elect Oklahoma pastor Wendell Lang as executive director Jan. 28.

The seven-member executive director search committee and its two alternates unanimously had recommended Lang to the board, which met in special session at the Lake Williamson Christian Center in Carlinville.

Upon hearing the result of the board’s vote, Charles West, search committee member and pastor of First Baptist Church, Bethalto, Ill., told the board, “We [the search committee] believe the days ahead will be glory days.”

Larry Richmond, IBSA president, commented in a statement, “I am extremely excited and optimistic with Dr. Wendell Lang as our new executive director. As president of IBSA, I very much look forward to working with him. With the skills he brings in leadership, and the new governance process that the messengers approved last November at our annual meeting, I really believe that we have a great possibility of significantly advancing our work in Great Commission activity in Illinois over the years ahead. As the Lord leads us in Illinois, we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.”

In accepting the position, Lang told the board, “It would be my honor to be the executive director of the Illinois Baptist State Association.”

In a brief speech of acceptance he told the members he is a pastor “and will lead from a pastor’s perspective.”

Lang later said, “A great encouragement and support for my family was to see and hear the enthusiasm of the board. The search committee did an excellent job both in the spirituality and details of the process. It seems apparent to me that the board followed the enthusiastic lead of the search committee.”

Lang comes to Illinois from the pastorate of First Baptist Church in Pryor. His denominational involvement includes serving as president of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, a member of Oklahoma Baptist University’s and the Annuity Board’s board of trustees and on the Southern Baptist Convention’s Tellers Committee.

Lang holds a master of divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, and a doctor of ministry degree from Phillips University, Enid, Okla.

He replaces Bob Wiley, who served as executive director from 1996-2001. Glenn Akins has served as interim executive director since Wiley’s departure.

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  • Lisa Sergent