DALLAS (BP) — Missouri Baptist Convention executive director John L. Yeats will be nominated for a 22nd term as the Southern Baptist Convention’s recording secretary, Texas pastor Bart Barber announced today (April 23).
Barber, pastor of First Baptist Church in Farmersville, Texas, said in a news release, “Our annual meetings are the largest exercise of inter-congregational polity in the world. The experience spans the gamut from boilerplate actions of formality to moments of breathtaking near-chaos. For it all to matter, we need someone to whom we can entrust the task of recording and publishing the fruit of our actions on the convention floor.
“For more than two decades, John Yeats has been that man,” Barber noted, “and our cooperative work will be best served by his continuing in this role.”
The SBC recording secretary is responsible for the record of the proceedings of the Southern Baptist Convention, training volunteers for convention business sessions and the final edit of the SBC Book of Reports and the SBC Annual.
Yeats designed the process currently used for the flow of information from the convention floor to the platform and distribution to the Committee on Order of Business, a process that has enhanced the accuracy of the official record.
As recording secretary, Yeats also is an ex officio member of the SBC Executive Committee, where he has served as vice chairman and Administrative Committee chairman.
During a three-year span in Missouri, Yeats led the state convention to increase its Cooperative Program giving to SBC causes by 3.5 percentage points of its $14 million budget, to the current 60-40 percentage allocation of CP funds between Missouri and SBC missions and ministries.
Deer Creek Baptist Church in Cuba, Mo., where Yeats is a member, reported giving 10 percent of its undesignated receipts through the Cooperative Program last year, a total confirmed by the Missouri Baptist Convention and data from the SBC’s Annual Church Profile (ACP).
Deer Creek baptized four people in 2017 and had an average worship attendance of 107, according to ACP.
Prior to his work with the Missouri convention, Yeats was director of communications/public policy for the Louisiana Baptist Convention, editor of state Baptist papers in Oklahoma and Indiana and pastor of churches in six states during 40-plus years of pastoral ministry. He was at South Park Baptist Church in Grand Prairie, Texas, from 1991-95 and Shawnee Heights Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., from 1978-91.
Yeats holds a doctor of ministry degree from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, a master of divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and an undergraduate degree from Dallas Baptist University.
Yeats, a native of Caddo, Okla., and his wife Sharon, who serves beside him on the convention platform, have three sons and nine grandchildren.