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SBC DIGEST: Sebastian Traeger to leave IMB VP post; Shannon Baker to lead Penn/Jersey communications

Sebastian Traeger to leave IMB VP post

RICHMOND, Va. (BP) — Sebastian Traeger, executive vice president of the International Mission Board, has announced he will resign Nov. 15 at the next meeting of IMB trustees.

Traeger tied his resignation to the departure of David Platt as IMB president to pastor a church in northern Virginia.

“I believe the primary role of an EVP is to lead alongside the president, and in light of David’s transition, I want to respect this opportunity to give our future president total freedom to choose the right person to serve alongside him in the future,” Traeger stated to missionaries in a Sept. 28 letter

Traeger became the IMB executive vice president in November 2014 after Platt’s election by IMB trustees in August of that year.

Traeger, according to the IMB website, “previously worked in business and technology where he started, led, and built several companies. Traeger credits his involvement in Cru and Athletes in Action while a student at Princeton University and his membership at Capitol Hill Baptist Church as significant in God growing him spiritually. He is the co-author of The Gospel at Work, which unpacks the powerful way that the gospel can transform a person’s work.”

In his Sept. 28 letter, Traeger wrote, “Four years ago, when David asked me to serve as EVP, it was an easy yes. As an active Southern Baptist, I already deeply loved the IMB and its mission, and I was driven by a desire to play my part in getting the gospel to people who have never heard it. Upon accepting this position, I soon came to love the people of the IMB in a way I could not have imagined. It has been a blessing, beyond measure, to work and serve alongside brothers and sisters who sacrifice daily for the sake of the gospel. I have learned so much from so many of you, my family has been extremely blessed by you in visits with you around the world, and we are altogether grateful for each of you.”

He voiced appreciation for the patience he had experienced “as we worked together through changes (large and small) to move our organization to a place of sound financial footing and to better position IMB to carry out the missionary task today and in years ahead. Most importantly, thank you for your passion to proclaim the gospel and plant churches in some of the hardest places in the world.”

Traeger stated he does not know what lies ahead, writing, “My heart’s desire is to remain and work alongside you all. At the same time, I am trusting God’s Word in Proverbs 16:9, which says: ‘The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.'”


Shannon Baker to lead Penn/Jersey communications

HARRISBURG, Pa. (BP) — Shannon Baker is the new director of communications for the 330 churches in the Baptist Resource Network (BRN) of Pennsylvania/South Jersey.

Baker, immediate past president of the Baptist Communicators Association, previously served as director of communications and editor of BaptistLIFE for the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware, where she worked nearly 15 years, initially as a correspondent when she and her husband Larry moved to Baltimore as North American Mission Board church planters.

Earlier, Baker was director of public relations at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary after several years of corporate work in management, technical writing and communications.

She has been part of the Baptist Press coverage team for the SBC annual meeting for more than a dozen years.

Now a member of the Bridge Fellowship in Shillington, Pa., Baker holds a master of arts degree in ministry leadership from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and a bachelor of arts degree in journalism and mass communications from the University of N.C. at Chapel Hill.

With the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware, Baker led in developing an online version of BaptistLIFE as well as the convention’s website and social media.

With BCA, Baker has served as professional development coordinator, developing its first two Fall Forums (“Ted Talk”-like programs featuring Southern Baptist communicators). She also is a member of the Association of State Baptist Publications and the Evangelical Press Association.

Also a Bible curriculum writer and conference/retreat speaker, Baker has traveled as a reporter and short-term missionary to East Asia, the Middle East, Mexico, Haiti, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic.

The Bakers have two daughters, Lauren and Hannah.

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