SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (BP)–The Illinois Baptist State Association board of directors unanimously elected Nate Adams as the new ISBA executive director during a special meeting in Springfield on Jan. 17.
Adams, vice president for mission mobilization at the North American Mission Board, will begin his new duties on March 1. He succeeds Wendell Lang, who left IBSA last May to become senior pastor of West Jackson Baptist Church in Jackson, Tenn.
Adams, an Illinois native, has a rich Southern Baptist heritage. His father was a pastor and director of missions and has been a columnist for the Illinois Baptist for more than 30 years.
“I’m privileged and I’m blessed in what it means to be a Southern Baptist,” he said. “It runs in my blood…. I’m proud and thankful to tell you I’ve learned firsthand from my family what it means.”
Addressing board members prior to the vote, Adams spoke about building on the work that has already been done in Illinois, noting, “I know I stand on the shoulders of the people who came before me.” He shared from John 4 — about Jesus telling the disciples that the fields were ready for the harvest and of the joy that awaited them when He would send them to harvest where they did not plant. “If God will use us to fulfill that harvest in Illinois, I will be grateful,” Adams said.
Adams has served the past eight years in his vice presidential post at the North American Mission Board, leading the work of more than 80 fulltime employees responsible for recruiting and mobilizing the Southern Baptist entity’s national missionary force, its vast network of mission volunteers including disaster relief ministries and World Changers; creation of the denomination’s mission education resources; and NAMB’s corporate communication strategies including On Mission magazine.
He is the author of four books including, “The Home Team: Spiritual Practices for a Winning Family” and “The Acts 1:8 Challenge.” He also has written numerous articles and columns for national magazines including Decision, Christianity Today, Campus Life and New Man.
Prior to joining NAMB, Adams served as corporate vice president of publishing for Christianity Today, Inc., in Carol Stream, Ill. He has been a bivocational church planter, starting New Hope Community Church in St. Charles, Ill., and a youth minister at First Baptist Church in St. Charles. He also served as interim pastor for three churches in Georgia.
He holds an undergraduate degree in communication from Judson College in Elgin, Ill., and a master’s degree in management and human resources from National-Louis University in Evanston.
Adams and his wife, Beth, have three sons.
“Nate is passionate about the local church. He has a heart for reaching lost people, for starting and growing churches and he brings the experience and gifts to help us do that,” said search committee chairman Jim Rahtjen said in announcing Adams’ unanimous recommendation in December. “We have been particularly impressed with Nate’s profound walk with the Lord, his passion for serving God with all his heart, and his love for the local church. Nate is a strategic thinker, a visionary, an effective leader and a gifted communicator. God has blessed him with a great sense of humor, an engaging personality, and yet a genuine humility that is refreshing in a man with his abilities.”