News Articles

Reccord inaugurated as first NAMB president

MARIETTA, Ga. (BP)–In an action that North American Mission Board employees and trustees are finding typical for their new president, Bob Reccord stopped his inaugural service to have prayer for two staff members.
“Nothing we do this evening will be more important than praying for one another,” Reccord told more than 700 persons gathered Nov. 4 at Roswell Street Baptist Church to celebrate his installation as the first president of Southern Baptists’ newest mission agency. He then led in prayer for one staff member whose wife had recently died and another whose wife was diagnosed with cancer.
During his remarks, Reccord asked those in attendance to do two things for him. “Please pray for me. I am the most inadequate of anyone to be in the role and only God can help us do what needs to be done,” Reccord pled. “Secondly, give me the grace to fail. Some decisions I make will be wrong, but if we are going to make a difference in North America for Jesus Christ, we must find out what doesn’t work in order to implement what does work.”
NAMB was organized last June as part of the Southern Baptist Convention’s restructuring called Covenant for a New Century. The new agency has assumed a majority of the ministry assignments of three former agencies: the Home Mission Board, Radio and Television Commission and Brotherhood Commission.
In addressing the task of reaching the United States and Canada for Christ, Reccord sounded a Biblical refrain. “As I have walked through so many cities in the past few months, I hear a haunting voice say ‘come help us,'” he said. “In Raleigh, North Carolina, Calgary and Vancouver, Canada, and Denver, Colorado and so many more, I’ve heard the cry to ‘come help us’, and by God’s grace we’re going to help. … Whatever it takes to reach North America for Christ, the North American Mission Board will do.”
Ed Young, senior pastor of Second Baptist Church, Houston and former president of the Southern Baptist Convention, brought a message urging Reccord to take time to dream the dream of reaching the U.S. and Canada for Christ. “Get above the bureaucracy,” he said. “Shuffling papers, handing out reports and going to time-wasting meetings are not important ways for you to spend your time … I want Bob Reccord to be the most boring man in the SBC because every time we talk to him all he wants to talk about is winning people to Jesus and starting new churches. Nothing else is worth your time.”
Young encouraged Reccord to, “color outside the lines … do things in a totally radical new and effective way … the message is unchanged, but the methodology is going to have to radically change.”
“If you will model Godly leadership, Brother, we’ll be right there by your side with all the power God will give us,” Young said.
Charles Fuller, NAMB chairman and senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Roanoke, Va., offered the prayer of dedication and commitment, which included not only Reccord and his family but all NAMB trustees and staff members present.
More than a dozen denominational leaders encouraged and commended Reccord during the installation service and a banquet which preceded the service. Program participants included the heads of four SBC entities: Mark Coppenger, president of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; Jerry Rankin, president of the International Mission Board; Dellanna O’Brien, executive director/treasurer of Woman’s Missionary Union; and Morris Chapman, president of the SBC Executive Committee.
Chapman told attendees that God has called each SBC agency and institution, including the North American Mission Board, to assist churches. “Dr. Reccord, we rejoice that God has brought you here to lead us in that. You are a visionary leader, a surrendered servant, a caring father and husband and a compassionate soul-winner with a passion for souls,” Chapman said. “All Southern Baptists are praying for you and rejoice with you in this special time.”
Gary Frost, senior pastor of Rising Star Missionary Baptist Church, Youngstown, Ohio, delineated challenges Reccord will face in the future including the challenge of fidelity. “We must be faithful to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We can’t gimmick people into the Kingdom. We’ve got to give them the Truth which is the Gospel,” Frost said.
Also participating in the service were two state executive directors: Fermin Whittaker, California Southern Baptist Convention, and Carlisle Driggers, South Carolina Baptist Convention. Driggers was also a member of the implementation Task Force which organized the new agency. Other ITF members participating in the installation were Rudy Hernandez, vocational evangelist from Grand Prairie, Texas, and, C.B. Hogue, retired executive director of the California Southern Baptist Convention.
Special music was provided by two Gospel vocalists: Wintley Phipps, Columbia, Md., and Charles Billingsley, Woodstock, Ga. They were accompanied by the choir and orchestra from Roswell Street Baptist Church directed by Steve O’Brien, music minister at First Baptist Church, Norfolk, Va. Jason Evans, pianist at FBC, Norfolk, and Cindy Marshall, NAMB accounting manager, were pianists for the evening.
Roswell Street’s senior pastor Nelson Price welcomed attendees, and SBC Executive Committee chairman James Merritt, pastor of First Baptist Church, Snellville, Ga., brought the evening’s benediction.

    About the Author

  • Martin King