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SBC DIGEST: Physician to lead IMB trustees; Thornbury now King’s College chancellor; Univ. Mobile video goes viral

Rick Dunbar to succeed Hance Dilbeck as IMB chair

RICHMOND, Va. (BP) — International Mission Board trustees have a new chairman, Rick Dunbar of Mississippi, replacing Hance Dilbeck, who has been nominated as the next executive director-treasurer of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma.

Dunbar is a member of First Baptist Church in Madison, Miss., and an emergency medicine physician. He has served as an IMB trustee since 2009 and was reelected as first vice president during the trustees’ June 2017 meeting in Phoenix.

Dilbeck, senior pastor of Quail Springs Baptist Church in Oklahoma City, resigned as an IMB trustee in advance of a Dec. 11 vote by board members of the Oklahoma convention. If elected, Dilbeck would take office Jan. 15, succeeding Anthony Jordan, who is retiring after nearly 22 years of Oklahoma Baptist leadership.

Dunbar thanked Dilbeck “for his godly leadership” and said he is “humbled to follow his leadership and, together with the other trustees, wish him the best.” Dunbar asked Southern Baptists to pray “that God will be glorified” as he leads the IMB trustees.

IMB President David Platt said, “By God’s grace, Hance Dilbeck has led our trustees well, and I am completely confident in God’s grace in Rick Dunbar to continue the same. I am deeply thankful for a trustee board and trustee leaders who love God, who love the nations, and who love missionaries who are spreading the glory of God among those nations.”

Dilbeck, in a letter to the trustees regarding his resignation Nov. 27, said that while he was aware of the possibility he might be asked to lead the BGCO, “the search committee surprised me with how rapidly they progressed. Thus, a transition that I was anticipating might come late spring is already upon us.”

Dilbeck said he had talked to Platt and Dunbar, noting, “As you would expect, both were very kind and gracious. I so appreciate Dr. Dunbar and have every confidence in his capacity to carry on as chairman.

“It has been my pleasure to serve with each one of you…. Know that I will be doing all I can to continue and even increase support for the IMB coming from Oklahoma Baptists,” Dilbeck wrote.

Tim Simpson, pastor of Greenridge Baptist Church in Clarksburg, Md., will move from the role of second vice chair to first vice chair of the trustees, while Lisa Lovell, a member of First Baptist Church in Fayetteville, Ark., continues to serve as recording secretary.

Greg Thornbury moves to chancellor of King’s College

NEW YORK CITY (BP) –– Gregory Alan Thornbury has been named chancellor of King’s College in New York City after serving as president since 2013.

Thornbury, 47, formerly was vice president for spiritual life at Union University in Jackson, Tenn., and dean of the school of theology, having served on the faculty for 13 years. His wife Kimberly was Union’s senior vice president for student services and dean of students and now serves as vice president for strategic planning at King’s College.

A Nov. 21 news release said Thornbury will counsel the interdenominational liberal arts college in strategic advising and networking. His “vision and energy have been instrumental in advancing the national profile of the college,” the news released stated. Among advances noted in the news release: Incoming enrollment has increased by 60 percent, now at 547 students, and student retention by 14 percent; a center for human flourishing and journalism institute have been founded; and five majors have been added along with 8,000 square feet of office space.

King’s College trustees have named Tim Gibson, King’s executive vice president, as acting president; Brian Brenberg, chair of the college’s program in business and finance, as an executive vice president; and Mark D. Hijleh, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty, as provost.

Thornbury said he is “incredibly grateful to this board, faculty, staff and students for all of the significant and might I daresay historic progress we have made during this time. I look forward to even greater days for King’s building on the momentum our excellent team has led, and to contributing to that progress in a new way while serving as chancellor.”

King’s College is located at 56 Broadway in New York City. The full news release can be accessed at https://www.tkc.edu/stories/kings-college-board-trustees-announces-leadership-restructuring/.

Univ. of Mobile viral video asks, ‘Wanna Be Happy?’

MOBILE, Ala. (BP) — A video of the University of Mobile vocal group Voices of Mobile performing the 2015 hit “Wanna Be Happy?” has tallied some 6 million views since it was performed Oct. 15 at Abilene Baptist Church in Augusta, Ga.

Among those sharing the peppy inspirational “how to” song was its author, Kirk Franklin. The video got another boost when actor Morris Chestnut shared it with his 4.9 million Facebook followers.

Tyler Allen, the 20-year-old sophomore from Mobile whose rhythm-and-blues vocals bring an emotional charge to the gospel song, said it’s obvious why it is striking a chord.

“I think what people are looking for now is something to cling to, something to give them hope. If you listen to the words, this song gives you the steps for how to be happy; it breaks it down for you. Jesus is the start to true happiness, by giving yourself to Him and letting Him take control of your life,” Allen said.

The 16-member Voices of Mobile is one of 19 ensembles in the University of Mobile’s Alabama School of the Arts.

The video can be viewed at umobile.edu/viral-voices.

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