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Miss. exec Bill Causey sets September retirement

JACKSON, Miss. (BP)–William W. “Bill” Causey, executive director-treasurer of the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board since 1989, announced April 20 to the board’s executive committee he will retire at the end of September.
Causey’s letter to Robert Upchurch of Tupelo, chairman of the executive committee, began, “All I presently know about God’s will for my life, mixed with common sense, causes me to take this opportunity to inform you that, insofar as I can humanly determine it, the time has come when I must advise you of my intention to retire as of the end of September, 1998.”
The executive committee accepted with regret the letter, read by Causey himself, during the called meeting at the Baptist Building in Jackson.
The committee authorized Upchurch to appoint up to five people to work with Causey and make recommendations concerning the details of his retirement and proper recognitions.
The Mississippi Baptist Convention’s policy names the executive committee as the search committee for Causey’s successor. Causey agreed to be available to aid his successor in orientation for such time as necessary.
Causey will be 67 on May 7. In August, he will attain 50 years in the ministry.
He came to the convention board from the pastorate of Parkway Baptist Church in Jackson, where he served for 26 years.
Earlier he was pastor of Hopewell Baptist Church, Harrodsburg, Ky., 1952-55; assistant pastor of Parkway Baptist Church, Jackson, 1955-57; and pastor of Poplar Springs Drive Baptist Church, Meridian, 1957-63.
A native of Greenville, Miss., Causey is a graduate of Mississippi College in Clinton and earned the master of divinity degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Ky., in 1955. He was awarded the honorary doctor of divinity degree from Mississippi College in 1968.
Causey has been married for 44 years to the former Charlotte Rose of Winona. They are the parents of three grown children.
As MBCB executive director-treasurer, Causey led the board’s staff to adopt as a mission statement, “Helping to Bring Mississippi and the World to Jesus,” and to adopt priority concerns.
Those concerns, around which MBCB work revolves, include:
— to provide a gospel witness to all persons.
— to provide Bible study to all persons.
— to equip all Christians for service.
Causey is considered the leader in the Mississippi Baptist Convention plan to have the convention’s institutions adopt a Covenant of Cooperation, and to have the institutions’ trustees jointly nominated by the convention’s Committee on Nominations and each institution’s trustee board.
That action came in 1996 following the withdrawal and rejoining of Mississippi College with the convention and proposed changes in the charter of the Mississippi Baptist Medical Center (now Mississippi Baptist Health Systems) in Jackson.
The plan brought the medical center, Mississippi College, William Carey College in Hattiesburg, Blue Mountain College in Blue Mountain and the Baptist Children’s Village in Jackson into a covenant agreement which is signed each year by all trustees of the institutions.
In that covenant, trustees agree to keep their institution “Christian in its purpose, solid in its business practices, compassionate in its ministry, and our judgments as near the mind of Christ as possible.”
The covenant also exacts a promise to be attentive to the needs of the community, “individuals, congregations, associations, and particularly by the Mississippi Baptist Convention.”
At the beginning of the executive committee meeting, Causey announced the last of the five institutions, the medical center, has amended its charter to conform with the intentions of the convention’s earlier vote.
Causey also led the convention during two financial restructurings of William Carey College in Hattiesburg, and through the closure of Clarke College in Newton and the sale of the two-year college’s property.
The executive committee indicated they will move quickly to begin the process of searching for Causey’s replacement.

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  • Tim Nicholas