Nominating Committee fills key slots
Influential group continues to chart MBC’s conservative direction
By Allen Palmeri
August 9, 2005
JEFFERSON CITY – The Nominating Committee of the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) voted unanimously July 28 at the Baptist Building to recommend nearly a full slate of nominees for convention agencies, boards and commissions that is packed with Southern Baptists committed to the theologically conservative direction of the MBC and the Southern Baptist Convention.
Only seven positions remain vacant and committee members agreed to fill those soon, thus ending several months of reviewing nominee information forms, statements of faith and personal interviews with candidates.
Committee Chairman Tom Johnson, pastor, First Baptist Church, Fredericktown, said the committee will finish its work in the next few weeks so messengers will be able to vote on a complete slate at the MBC’s annual meeting, Oct. 24-26, at Second Baptist Church, Springfield.
“We hope to have those all done well in advance of the 30 days before the convention, so it can be published in The Pathway,” Johnson said. “When you come to the convention, in the first day’s Bulletin it will be all there.”
Johnson said Missouri Baptists can still participate in the process by calling him at 573-783-6322 to recommend people for any of the seven openings. Nomination guidelines are contained in the “MBC Nominating Committee Rules and Procedures” as published in the MBC Annual Report and at the MBC Web site, www.mobaptist.org.
The seven board seats that remain vacant are: Executive Board (two, one each from the West Central and Southwest regions); Missouri Baptist Foundation (1); Word & Way (1); Baptist Home (1); Missouri Baptist College (1); and Hannibal-LaGrange College (1). Of the five breakaway agencies in litigation with the MBC, only the MBC-approved board of Windermere Baptist Conference Center currently has no openings for trustees, with Don Buford, pastor, Liberty Baptist Church, New Florence, and Don Laramore, laity, Potosi Southern Baptist Church, being recommended for re-election.
“It’s tough to find people that want to serve with some of the agencies that we don’t have control of yet,” Johnson said. “But it’s very important that we get people who are capable, because when we get them back, these people will be in charge of actually rebuilding those entities. The other folks are going to step out and these people are going to step in. So we’re looking for people who are competent, able and willing.”
Nominating Committee members are recommending 13 people to the powerful 53-member MBC Executive Board, with two more slots to be filled prior to the MBC’s annual meeting. Six of the eight openings will be filled by pastors. Among the group of Executive Board nominees is Jay Scribner of First Baptist Church, Branson, a former MBC president and chairman of the MBC Administrative Committee. Other nominations of pastors to the Executive Board are: Kirk Baker, Lawson Baptist Church; Tom Willoughby, First Baptist Church, El Dorado Springs; Aaron Weibel, New Site Baptist Church, Monett; Larry Fackler, Fellowship Baptist Church, Warrenton; and Bill Johnson, Calvary Baptist Church, Versailles.
Executive Board members James Bone, laity, Canaan Baptist Church, St. Louis; Paul Callahan, pastor, First Baptist Church, Marshall; Ed Hamilton, pastor, Ozark Baptist Church; James McCullen, pastor, Liberty Baptist Church, Belgrade; Darrell Payne, laity, Cornerstone Baptist Church, Sedalia; Jeff Purvis, pastor, Westport Community Church, St. Louis; and David Updegrave, pastor, First Baptist Church, Wellington, are all recommended for re-election for terms that will expire in 2008.
The Nominating Committee is reporting that Benny Gard, pastor, First Baptist Church, Houston; Christa McCullen, laity, Liberty Baptist Church, Belgrade; Jason Rogers, laity, Moscow Mills and Scott Weldon, pastor, Faith Baptist Church, Marshfield, are recommended for re-election to the MBC Christian Life Commission. The same holds true for Donald Boyd, laity, Red Star Baptist Church, Cape Girardeau; Loretta Johnson, laity, First Baptist Church, Harrisonville; and David Daughenbaugh, now attending Wildwood Baptist Church, Joplin; on the Missouri Baptist Historical Commission.
Fred Caldwell, laity, Poplar Bluff; James Moore, laity, St. Louis; and Victoria Updegrave, laity, Republic; are recommended for second terms with the Missouri Baptist Foundation.
Joseph Isgriggs, associate pastor, First Baptist Church, Lincoln; Louis Hunt, pastor, Sulphur Lick Baptist Church, Troy; and Ken Gray, pastor, Fellowship Baptist Church, Lesterville, have been recommended to be Word & Way board members.
Jerry Arnold, laity, First Baptist Church, Clarksdale; Randall Miller, pastor, Emmanuel Baptist Church, Doniphan; Randy Ewart, director of missions, Mt. Salem/Wyaconda Baptist Association, Ewing; Bruce Collins, laity, Bethel Baptist Church, West Plains; Michael Knight, pastor, First Baptist Church, Viburnum; and Don Clark, laity, First Baptist Church, Lebanon, are up for Baptist Home board positions, with one slot open.
Five pastors and one director of missions are recommended for seats on the Missouri Baptist College board. They are: Timothy Cowin, pastor, Rock Hill Baptist Church, St. Louis; Gerald Davidson, co-pastor, First Baptist Church, Arnold; James Plymale, director of missions, Franklin Baptist Association, Villa Ridge; Jim Rice, pastor, Finey Baptist Church, Lemay; Gary Robnett, pastor, Highland View Baptist Church, St. Charles, and Keith Snyder, pastor, First Baptist Church, St. John.
Steve Miller, pastor, Carpenter Street Baptist Church, Moberly; Bob Feeler Jr., laity, First Baptist Church, St. Peters; Bryan Gruber, laity, First Baptist Church, Mexico; Mary Ann Lillard, laity, Providence Baptist Church, Williamstown; Judy Harding, laity; and Richard Rhea, pastor, First Baptist Church, Troy, are recommended for seats on the Hannibal-LaGrange College board.
Clarence Barber, laity, First Baptist Church, West Plains; Clyde Elder, pastor, McCarthy Baptist Church, St. Joseph; Wayne Hutchins, laity, Springfield; Gary Longenecker, retired pastor, Lebanon; and Rebecca Randles, laity, Kansas City, are all seeking to return to the Southwest Baptist University board.
Nominated to join the Missouri Baptist Children’s Home Board are Mark Cote, pastor, Parker Road Baptist Church, Florissant; LaMoine Hamilton, laity, Ozark Baptist Church, Ozark; Bev Corum, laity, First Baptist Church, Kearney; and Chuck Logue, pastor, Archie. Lyle Coleman, retired pastor, First Baptist Church, Linn; John Koffman, laity, First Baptist Church, Moberly; Romona McCready, laity, Joplin; and Dessie Stafford, laity, New Prospect Baptist Church, Slater, have all been recommended for second terms.
Johnson said that for the first time in MBC history, the Internet played a key role in helping Nominating Committee members to virtually complete the slate of nominees before Aug. 1. Many Missouri Baptists took advantage of the MBC Website to recommend names for specific board openings.
“That was great,” Johnson said. “It made it easier for people. They could hit ‘send’ and off it went. They didn’t have to cut it out and mail it off. We got a lot of nominations, but unfortunately most of them were for positions that weren’t open or from areas that we couldn’t put people in. I would encourage people to nominate them again, because it will open up sometime.”
Johnson said the Nominating Committee plans to meet one more time, right before the annual meeting, to go over any last-minute changes to the slate of nominees.