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Peek to lead Baptist foundation

SAN ANTONIO (BP)–Warren Peek of Nashville, Tenn., has been unanimously elected as president of the Southern Baptist Foundation, Morris H. Chapman, president of the Southern Baptist Executive Committee, announced June 11.

Peek will replace Michael W. Weeks, who is retiring effective June 30.

“During these five years, [Weeks] has done a tremendous job in choosing money managers and assisting us in the management of the funds of the foundation,” Chapman, chairman of the foundation board of trustees, said of Weeks during the Executive Committee’s June 11 meeting in San Antonio. “But Brother Mike says that it’s time to spend more time with his grandchildren…. Fortunately, there was one person on our minds that might be just the precise individual that God would have for us at this time.”

Chapman said he and Weeks agreed that Peek was the ideal man for the job, not only because of his accomplishments but because of his familiarity with the foundation, having served as an accountant for the ministry from 1994-96. After being interviewed by the foundation board, Peek was invited to become the next president.

“Warren Peek is exceptionally gifted for this strategic position,” Chapman told Baptist Press. “Importantly, he and his wife, Starla, are wonderful and faithful Christians.

“The foundation trustees are grateful that God led us to such a highly qualified individual whose one foundation is Jesus Christ our Lord,” Chapman said.

Since 1999, Peek has been first vice president for institutions and government banking at SunTrust Banks, Inc., in Nashville, where he managed a $210 million portfolio in deposits that increased from $18 million when he started. He also managed an $86 million portfolio in loans, which increased from $17 million, and was responsible for new business development and expanding existing clients.

From 1996-99, Peek was assistant vice president for branch administration with SunTrust, where he increased the number of accounts from about 9,000 to more than 27,000 and increased the collected balance of accounts from $17.6 million to $43.1 million.

In 1994, he began serving as a volunteer financial counselor for the late Larry Burkett’s Christian Financial Concepts, helping individuals and families develop plans for getting out of debt and abiding by a budget.

Peek earned a master of business administration degree at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tenn., 1999 and a bachelor of science in business administration at Union University in Jackson, Tenn., in 1992.

He also has been a board member of the Nashville-area Donelson Christian Academy and is active at Hermitage Hills Baptist Church.

Prior to taking the helm of the foundation in 2002, Weeks was vice chairman of BancorpSouth Bank and executive vice president of BancorpSouth Inc., the bank’s holding company. He also has been executive vice president of BancorpSouth Trust and Asset Management Group.

From 1995-98, Weeks was chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Volunteer Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of BancorpSouth. From 1970-94, he was a partner in KPMG Corporation of Memphis, Tenn., and Jackson, Miss., specializing in services to financial companies, including banks, thrifts, mortgage banks and insurance companies.

“Mike has been a passionate steward for Southern Baptists and a vigilant voice for growing funding sources to support and expand SBC missions and ministries. He has served our Lord and Southern Baptists with impeccable integrity,” Chapman said to BP.

“Mike and Trish are dear friends, and I pray God’s protection and blessings as they start this new phase in His plan for them.”

The Southern Baptist Foundation is the trust entity of the Southern Baptist Convention established to provide dependable and prudent investment service to the entities of the SBC. The foundation also offers a wide range of investment and estate planning services to individuals interested in fulfilling their stewardship commitments and who wish to provide perpetual support for denominational causes through outright gifts or trust, will, deed or gift annuities.

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