SBC Life Articles

Executive Committee Presidential Search Team Seeks Input

The Executive Committee presidential search committee announced on May 2, 2018, that it is  accepting nominations for the next SBC Executive Committee president by email at [email protected].

The six-member search committee, elected from a field of eighteen nominees during a special called meeting of the Executive Committee April 17 in Nashville, convened immediately following its election to select officers and begin laying groundwork to receive recommendations.

Steve Swofford, pastor of First Baptist Church in Rockwall, Texas, was elected chairman. Carol Yarber, from Athens, Texas, was elected secretary.

The committee will be joined in an ex officio capacity by the next EC chairman when he or she is elected in June, as stipulated by EC bylaws. The new EC chair will be a voting member of the search committee. Current EC chairman Stephen Rummage was elected to the search committee and therefore is not serving in an ex officio capacity. He will continue serving on the search committee when his term as EC chairman ends.

“I’m excited about the committee that was elected, and I commend the Executive Committee for their choices,” Swofford said. “The committee is marked by racial and gender diversity as well as a mixture of clergy and laypeople. I also think it is worth noting that they are from all over our Convention—from Florida to California, and from Texas to Illinois. Add to that the varied ages and background experiences and you have a well-rounded committee.

“We have all agreed to approach this responsibility with no agenda, simply and diligently trying to find the best person for the hour to fill this critical position for these challenging times,” Swofford said.

The search team “pledged to devote its first week to a time of focused prayer,” Swofford said in the May 2 announcement. Following a week of prayer, he sent a letter to Executive Committee members, SBC entity presidents, executive director of Woman’s Missionary Union, and state Baptist Convention executive directors asking them what they considered the five most important characteristics of the next president.

“We have received many prayerful and insightful responses that will help guide us as we take the next step in our search process,” Swofford said. “We also received many assurances of prayer. We are grateful for countless others who also are praying for us as we conduct this search.”

In addition to Swofford, the six-member search committee includes Joe Knott, an attorney from Raleigh, North Carolina; Adron Robinson, pastor of Hillcrest Baptist Church in Country Club Hills, Illinois; Stephen Rummage, Executive Committee chairman and pastor of Bell Shoals Baptist Church in Brandon, Florida; Rolland Slade, pastor of Meridian Baptist Church in El Cajon, California; and Carol Yarber, a retired medical administrator from Athens, Texas.

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