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NAMB president, trustee officer address, encourage employees

ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP)–During a meeting with North American Mission Board employees March 24, NAMB president Robert E. (Bob) Reccord expressed appreciation for their “support, cooperation and prayers during some very, very tough days.”

Reccord convened the meeting at the mission board’s offices to share results of a special called meeting of the entity’s board of trustees the previous day. That meeting resulted from a month-long study by the trustees of a number of concerns about the entity’s effectiveness in an article last month in The Christian Index, news journal of the Georgia Baptist Convention.

“I requested the board conduct this study to look into the allegations made in the article, and I appreciate the trustees spending hours and hours reviewing all the issues and facts,” Reccord said. “It is important that we face up to, face into, and deal with these issues, and then move on to helping our churches reach North America for Christ.”

William (Bill) Curtis, the board of trustee’s first vice chairman, also talked to the employees, telling them he appreciated Reccord putting together the board’s approach to the study, calling it “a great step of integrity.”

“I want to affirm Dr. Reccord here today and tell you that we as trustees are privileged to serve with him, and are grateful for his passion and vision,” Curtis said.

“Yesterday during the trustee meeting he did what a good leader does. He was transparent, humble, took ownership for issues we were dealing with and said, as president he knows where the buck stops.”

“Dr. Reccord also expressed his willingness to work with the trustees in addressing what needs to be strengthened at the agency,” Curtis said. “We will be stronger and grow in effectiveness because of this study and cooperation.”

Curtis also told NAMB employees that the trustees “share in the responsibility as well. Our trustees have not provided policy direction that the agency needed in some areas so it’s not all on you -– it’s on us too. We want to be more proactive in assisting the president, the executive leadership and everybody who works here in doing what God has given us to do.”

Curtis cautioned the staff that the report may appear to focus only on negative issues rather than the many positive accomplishments of the entity, but the focus of the report was the concerns addressed in the Christian Index story.

“The report wasn’t designed to look at what we have done well, but don’t be discouraged,” Curtis said. “God has used you, our missionaries, and our mission partners to do great things for the Kingdom and be assured we know that.”

Reccord closed the meeting by communicating that three NAMB employees are no longer with the entity. Chuck Allen, chief operating officer, and Benj Smith, executive director of strategic planning, resigned March 22. Rick Forbus, director of leadership initiatives, is also no longer with the entity according to Reccord.

“I am saddened that these friends will no longer be a part of the NAMB team, and we will miss them,” Reccord said. “But their leaving was not a result of the Index story or the trustee report. We need to love them, help them and pray for them as they make this adjustment.”

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  • Martin King