RICHMOND, Va. (BP)–A successor to Avery Willis will be nominated by a search committee when International Mission Board trustees meet April 26-28 in Nashville, Tenn.
R. Gordon Fort, regional leader for IMB work in the southern Africa region, will be recommended to the board to fill the position of vice president for overseas operations from which Willis retired in February.
Fort, 48, is the son of emeritus Southern Baptist missionary physicians who served at Sanyati Baptist Hospital in Zimbabwe. He and his wife, the former Leigh Ann Harrison of Fort Worth, Texas, were appointed by the International Mission Board as missionaries to Botswana in 1985. He assumed responsibility for the work in Southern Africa in 1997.
The nomination will come on the unanimous vote of a search committee composed of seven trustees, said IMB President Jerry Rankin.
“Gordon possesses an outstanding profile of leadership skills with an emphasis on equipping and mentoring field leaders and spiritual nurture of missionary personnel,” Rankin said. “His passion for the mission task and penetrating the lostness throughout our world, as well as his communication and preaching skills, will be an asset in representing the IMB.
“He expresses a thorough understanding and support of the vision, values and strategies of the IMB and the conservative direction of the Southern Baptist Convention. His background and experience in Africa will give a valuable balance to senior leadership, and he has a solid commitment to leading our global task.”
Fort is a graduate of Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Prior to missionary appointment, he served as pastor of Macedonia-Hix Baptist Church in Caldwell, Texas.
He and his wife have four children, ages 10-17.
Willis was vice president for overseas operations for 10 years during a career which included 25 years in missions.
(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: GORDON FORT.