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Midwestern trustees select presidential search committee

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP)–Seven trustees of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary were selected at the close of the regular board meeting Oct. 18-19 to serve on a presidential search committee.
Board chairman Carl Weiser was asked to head the committee by virtue of his office, with the following members elected out of a group of 22 trustees who agreed to be considered:
— Reagan Bradford, a physician from Edmond, Okla.
— Loretta Bringer, a finance company manager from Maywood, Mo.
— Conrad “Buster” Brown, pastor of East Cooper Baptist Church, Mt. Pleasant, S.C.
— William C. Hatfield, pastor of First Baptist Church in Dierks, Ark.
— John E. Marshall, pastor of Second Baptist Church, Springfield, Mo.
— Dennis Wood, pastor of First Southern Baptist Church on Mill, Tempe, Ariz.
Gwen Newman, a homemaker and minister’s wife from Winder, Ga., will serve as alternate.
The committee is charged with the responsibility of filling the vacancy created by the board’s termination of Mark Coppenger on Sept. 12 by a majority vote. The newly elected committee gathered following the board meeting to schedule upcoming meetings.
Trustees approved the process of selecting the committee after hearing a recommendation of trustee Ken Barnett, pastor of Christ Baptist Church in Denver, which called for the board chairman to head the committee and the remaining members to be drawn from the full board membership.
“You want a committee that represents everyone on this board,” Barnett advocated, calling that process “more democratic” than the original proposal of the executive committee. Their recommendation stipulated that at least two members of the search committee be drawn from the executive committee.
Weiser, Bradford, Brown and Newman currently serve on the executive committee — Weiser, as chairman of the board; Bradford as chairman of the business affairs committee; Brown as an at-large member; and Newman as secretary-treasurer. Four other members of the executive committee declined to be considered as candidates.
Before the vote on the search committee, Weiser asked trustees to answer three questions as they deliberated. “The person I’m going to vote on — is it my choice or God’s choice?” Weiser said, urging them to ask, “God, who do you want?”
Secondly, Weiser said each trustee should consider, “Is it someone else’s choice or God’s choice?” And the third criterion Weiser recommended was, “Is it your choice?”
As trustees ended their meeting, Brown noted, “This has been a very difficult few months.” Praising Weiser’s leadership, Brown said, “You have been an incredible, gracious and caring chairman.”
After trustees responded with a standing ovation of Weiser, he expressed gratitude for their kindness and cooperation. “We have been prayed for quite a bit. We have a lot of support out there,” he told board members. “Don’t ever think we don’t.”

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  • Tammi Ledbetter