News Articles

SBC DIGEST: Special called EC meeting; Cook to lead SEBTS Center for Great Commission Studies; Cloer named president of BCF

Special called EC meeting scheduled for June 2

By BP Staff

NASHVILLE (BP) – The SBC Executive Committee will meet in special online session on Thursday, June 2 at 10:30am Central to consider the recommendations released by the Sexual Abuse Task Force on June 1.

The meeting will be the second meeting of the EC since the May 22 release of the 288-page SATF report from Guidepost Solutions.

The open meeting can be viewed on the SBC’s website.

Messengers to the 2021 SBC Annual Meeting ordered the formation of a task force to conduct an independent, third-party investigation of the alleged mishandling of sexual abuse claims by the EC and to bring recommendations to the 2022 SBC Annual Meeting.

The 2022 SBC Annual Meeting is set for June 14-15 in Anaheim.

Keelan Cook promoted to director of SEBTS Center for Great Commission Studies

By Chad Burchett/SEBTS

WAKE FOREST, N.C. (BP) – Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) announces Keelan Cook, former Associate Director of the Lewis A. Drummond Center for Great Commission Studies (CGCS), as the new George Liele Director of the CGCS, effective Wednesday (June 1). After 13 years as director of the CGCS, Scott Hildreth will be stepping away from the role to dedicate more time to mentoring, teaching and writing at SEBTS.

“Southeastern is a Great Commission school,” said Danny Akin, President of SEBTS. “At the heart of this commitment is the CGCS. Scott Hildreth led this program with distinction for more than a decade. As he steps aside, I am delighted that Keelan Cook will take up the mantle as the George Liele Director of the CGCS. Keelan is perfectly gifted for this assignment, and I am excited about what he will bring to this center. The future is bright as we continue to mobilize students to GO to the nations with the Gospel of King Jesus.”

Originally from Lawrenceburg, Tenn., Keelan Cook decided while serving with the International Mission Board in West Africa that he would return to the U.S. and study at SEBTS. During his time in West Africa, Cook was encouraged by recordings of Danny Akin’s Great Commission preaching and often heard how his fellow journeymen intended to pursue further training at SEBTS. Returning to the U.S. in 2011, Cook enrolled in the PhD program at SEBTS in 2012, confident that he would be rigorously trained for ministry and challenged to prioritize the Great Commission in his life and ministry.

“During my time at Southeastern,” Cook said, “I stumbled into a role here in the CGCS doing research on diaspora missions, immigration and the massive numbers of unreached peoples scattering throughout North American cities. That research changed my life and my direction. I switched tracks in the Ph.D. program and began research on immigration and its impact on missions in North America. My current work centers on missionary methods to engage displaced peoples, and I think it’s one of the most important issues facing the Church in North America today.”

Over the last decade, Cook has served in leadership roles at various local churches and Baptist associations with experience mobilizing Baptists for Great Commission ministry. Leveraging that ministry experience, Cook will continue teaching students at SEBTS as an instructor of missiology while also taking on his new administrative responsibilities as the director of the CGCS.

Read the full story here.

Clayton Cloer named president of Baptist College of Florida

By Margaret Colson/Florida Baptist Convention

GRACEVILLE, Fla. (BP) – Clayton Cloer, senior pastor of the Church at the Cross in Orlando, has been named president of The Baptist College of Florida.

On May 24 BCF’s board of trustees unanimously approved the presidential search committee’s recommendation of Cloer, who will begin serving as president-elect on Nov. 1, 2022, and assume his presidential duties on Jan. 1, 2023.

“Our college students need to be educated with a Christian worldview in order to stand for Christ in our communities, churches and world,” Cloer said. “We have a solemn responsibility to speak the truth, teach the truth and live by the truth. We value education and the young lives entrusted to our shepherding. Therefore, we must integrate the truth of God’s Word into the study areas of a modern university and offer them to our Florida Baptists.”

Cloer added that he is looking forward to “partnering with Florida Baptist churches to train the next generation of pastors, missionaries and Christian leaders. A school has great sending power when partnerships are harnessed and resources are leveraged to the end that the nations be reached.”

Trained and mentored by the late B. Gray Allison, former president of Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Memphis, Cloer said, “I believe God has gifted me to do this, and God gave me a desire to do it. Our great college has been positioned and poised to become a leader among the other 48 Southern Baptist colleges and universities.”

The presidential search process began in March after the school’s search committee, chaired by R.C. Mills, was named. At that time, Mills said the search committee was seeking an individual who could provide “visionary leadership” to move the college forward.

As Cloer moves into the presidential role, Mills said, “He is a leader who will honor the legacy of the college while also casting a vision for the future.”

Mills affirmed Cloer’s “breadth of qualifications and experience from both a theological and business administration perspective … and, most importantly, his calling from the Holy Spirit” to the role of president.

In his almost 20 years as a pastor in the Sunshine State, Cloer has served as a board member of the Florida Baptist Convention and president of the Florida Baptist Pastors’ Conference (2009).

“Clayton has proven his deep commitment to Christ as a faithful pastor in Florida. He is a loved and trusted leader in the Florida Baptist Convention,” said Tommy Green, Florida Baptists’ executive director-treasurer. “His visionary leadership will transition the Baptist College of Florida to greater Kingdom impact. I believe the brightest days are ahead for the Baptist College of Florida in partnership with Florida Baptists.”

“I love Florida Baptists and look forward to working with them, ministering in our churches and serving our pastors,” Cloer said.

Prior to serving the Church at the Cross, the South Carolina native served as pastor of Highland Baptist Church in Senatobia, Miss., and as the executive pastor of Kirby Woods Baptist Church in Memphis, Tenn.

In addition to his undergraduate degree from Clemson University in South Carolina, Cloer earned a master’s degree and a doctorate from Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary.

Cloer and his wife, Linda, have two young adult sons, Nathan and James, who both live in South Carolina.

Read the full story here.

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