Southern Baptist Entity Leaders Deliver First Reports to Executive Committee

Paul Chitwood, elected last fall to lead the International Mission Board, shared reports on the IMB’s progress and said the entity “is fully committed to promoting all of the cooperative mission work of Southern Baptists, certainly including the Cooperative Program.” Photo by Morris Abernathy

Four of the five newly-elected Southern Baptist entity presidents delivered their first reports to SBC Executive Committee members, noting some of the challenges they face and thanking churches for supporting their work through the Cooperative Program.

Among the new leaders speaking Tuesday (Sept. 17) in Nashville –- in addition to EC President Ronnie Floyd, who gave his first report as president to the committee in June — were Ben Mandrell of LifeWay Christian Resources, Jamie Dew of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Adam Greenway of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Paul Chitwood of the International Mission Board.

Chitwood, who was elected last fall, shared reports on the IMB’s progress and that the entity “is fully committed to promoting all of the cooperative mission work of Southern Baptists, certainly including the Cooperative Program.”

“IMB is the largest single recipient of Cooperative Program funds and as such should have the loudest voice in CP promotion,” Chitwood said. “Rest assured, today’s IMB fully understands and enthusiastically accepts this stewardship.”

To ensure that missionaries are equipped to promote CP, the IMB has added an SBC identity component to its seven-week personnel orientation, “and I personally am teaching that,” Chitwood said.

“My goal is for every IMB missionary, regardless of their background or church origin, to become an active mobilizer who helps all Southern Baptists join in the work of praying, giving, going and sending,” Chitwood said.

“The IMB looks forward this next year to helping Southern Baptists celebrate the fact that for 175 years we have not been without a Gospel witness among the nations. Southern Baptists’ generosity, Southern Baptists’ prayers and Southern Baptists’ support of the IMB have made that possible.”

Dew, who was elected in June, said he has been assessing New Orleans Seminary during his first six weeks on campus.

“We’ve been delighted to discover a team of people there … that love that city, love that school, love each other and are excited and ready to go,” Dew said.

During discussions about the seminary’s mission, Dew has identified some main principles motivating the work. The seminary wants “to be a people that are passionate about being servants,” he said. They also want “to be a people of great devotion.”

With a goal of taking the Gospel to the nations, New Orleans Seminary is underscoring opportunities for impact available in the city, Dew said. He also addressed how the seminary is prioritizing the potential of its undergraduate arm, Leavell College, and renovating the former location of the campus LifeWay Store for use as offices for both the college and enrollment as well as a campus welcome area. See related story.

“In our city, the nations sit on our doorstep,” Dew said. “In our city, you have great wealth. You have great poverty. You have great opportunity. You have great brokenness. And if you can do it in that city, then you can do it anywhere.”

Greenway, who was elected in February, expressed gratitude to the “largest cumulative donor in the history” of the seminary, the Southern Baptist Convention.

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Source: Baptist Press