FORT WORTH, Texas (BP) — The first meeting of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s presidential search team, slated for Sept. 10-11, will focus on prayer, according to an Aug. 31 news release from the group’s chairman Danny Roberts.
“On behalf of the entire presidential search team of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, we ask you to partner with us in prayer,” said Roberts, executive pastor of North Richland Hills (Texas) Baptist Church.
Roberts offered a prayer in the release. “Mighty Father, lead us to the man You have chosen for Your great school. Give us wisdom and clarity to recognize Your will and follow it in the process,” he prayed, “We ask that, as a result of this calling, You will use this man to train and encourage many men and women to ‘Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit’ (Matthew 28:19).”
The nine-member search team was appointed by Southwestern trustee chairman Kevin Ueckert and announced to the full board of trustees Aug. 23.
In addition to Roberts, the committee includes: Denise Ewing (Ill.), Jamie Green (at-large, search committee secretary), Guy Grimes (Calif.), Todd Houston (N.C.), Tom James (Ky.), Philip Levant (at-large), Andre Palmer (N.Y.) and Calvin Wittman (Colo., search committee vice chair). Ueckert, pastor of First Baptist Church in Georgetown, Texas, and board vice chair Connie Hancock, pastor of Springboro (Ohio) Baptist Church, are ex officio members of the committee.
The committee will nominate a successor to former Southwestern president Paige Patterson, who was moved to president emeritus status in May and terminated less than a week later. Patterson had been under fire since late April for statements he has made about domestic abuse and women’s physical appearance. He also drew criticism for his handling of an alleged 2003 sexual assault at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he served as president from 1992-2003.
Roberts asked Southern Baptists to send suggestions, nominations and resumes to email@example.com, “our means of communication for this process.” The committee recommended communications be sent to the committee by Oct. 1. “All that we receive by this date will become part of this initial process,” Roberts said.