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ITF leaders: New NAMB staff evidence vision, commitment

ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP)–Following two days of meetings, representatives of the task force overseeing the Southern Baptist Convention’s restructuring say they are impressed with the caliber, commitment and cooperative spirit of those being offered positions in the new North American Mission Board.

“There is an exciting vision emerging from the future NAMB team members that is inspirational,” Georgia pastor John Yarbrough, chairman of the Implementation Task Force, told Baptist Press.

Yarbrough, along with ITF members Michael Hamlet, a South Carolina pastor, and C.B. Hogue, a retired California Baptist Convention executive, met with more than 80 Home Mission Board and Brotherhood Commission staff members April 16-17 to offer management and professional positions in NAMB, which will be based in Alpharetta, Ga. Similar meetings will be held at the Radio and Television Commission April 22 in Fort Worth, Texas.

The new mission board will assume responsibility for Southern Baptist mission work in North America beginning June 19 as part of the SBC’s “Covenant for a New Century” restructuring process begun in 1995.

The ITF members conducted a group meeting to present each potential NAMB employee with an envelope containing a letter stating the title of the position the person was being offered and the position’s salary and benefits. Each packet also included a position description and details of severance benefits should the employee decline the offer. Employees were given five days to accept or decline the offers.

Hogue explained during the meeting that although those in attendance are being recommended for positions, actual employment will depend on NAMB trustees’ adoption of the new agency’s proposed bylaws at their inaugural meeting June 19. The potential for rejection of the bylaws is thought to be extremely remote.

Yarbrough said the ITF has been very sensitive to those agency employees who have not been offered a position with the new agency and emphasized it is a not a comment on their skill or commitment.

“Those people offered positions are ones we feel will best fit the requirements and opportunities available in the North American Mission Board,” he said. “God is building an effective management team from among some of Southern Baptists’ most outstanding servants.”

Hamlet, who along with Yarbrough and Hogue also held individual meetings with many of the people offered positions, said he was pleased with the reactions and attitudes of those with whom he met. “They have shown a genuine attitude of cooperation and surrender to the Lord’s will throughout the process,” he said.

Yarbrough said the ITF is hopeful the majority of staff decisions will be finalized by early May.

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