- Baptist Press - https://www.baptistpress.com -

Texas pastor declines nomination as state convention executive director


DALLAS (BP)–The Texas pastor nominated as the next executive director of the Baptist General Convention of Texas has declined the nomination, sources at the BGCT told Baptist Press Sept. 8.
Phil Lineberger, a former president of the BGCT and pastor of Williams Trace Baptist Church, Sugar Land, was announced as the nominee of a search committee in late August. A special called meeting Sept. 14 of the BGCT executive board in Dallas was to have considered his nomination but has been canceled.
What prompted Lineberger to decline the nomination after accepting the search committee’s nomination has left many BGCT officials puzzled.
“I’m very humbled and I’m looking forward to the challenge that’s out there,” Lineberger was quoted as saying following the announcement of his nomination. “I appreciate the confidence of the committee. … I look forward to what Texas Baptists can do in the future.”
Officials with the BGCT said they were attempting to get details on the Lineberger announcement and would release a statement as soon as possible, Baptist Press was told at its deadline Sept. 8.
Lineberger would have succeeded William M. Pinson Jr., who has served since 1983 as executive director of the largest state Baptist convention. Pinson will retire Jan. 31, 2000, although, with the decline by Lineberger, it is unclear whether Pinson would continue past his announced retirement date.
More than 30 recommendations were submitted by Texas Baptists for the chief administrative post of the BGCT. The committee said it “carefully considered each recommendation and invited five candidates for interviews.” Bill Brian, an attorney and member of First Baptist Church, Amarillo, Texas, said four nominees accepted and were interviewed by the committee. He did not return a call to his office by Baptist Press’ deadline Sept. 8.
Lineberger, 53, was president of the BGCT from 1989-91 and vice president in 1988-89. He is a current member of the BGCT executive board.