August 21, 2002
JEFFERSON CITY — A Cape Girardeau native who serves as an associate executive director for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma (BGCO) is the recommended choice for executive director of the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC).
David Clippard, 53, will be presented as the unanimous choice of the MBC search committee to the 52-member MBC Executive Board when it meets in a special called session Tuesday at the MBC building in Jefferson City.
"Finding God’s man has been the number one goal of the search committee," Kenny Qualls, search committee chairman, MBC second vice president, and pastor of Springhill Baptist Church, Springfield, said Tuesday. "I believe after almost nine months of prayer by Missouri Baptists and after following and fulfilling the guidelines given by the Executive Board, I am convinced in my heart that David Clippard is God’s man for Missouri.
"David will continue to take Missouri in a conservative, pro-Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) direction. He stands on the inerrant truth of God’s Word and he’s going to lead Missouri with a passion for planting churches and winning souls."
If approved by the MBC Executive Board, Clippard will succeed Jim Hill, who resigned in October after he determined he could no longer work with conservatives who now hold an overwhelming majority on the Executive Board. Hill is now president and chief executive officer of Springfield-based RDI Consulting, a fundraising and strategic planning consulting business geared toward non-profit agencies.
Clippard’s recommendation comes after a nationwide search by the 11-member search committee that began with more than a dozen "listening sessions" throughout the state in January and February in which Missouri Baptists were asked what they most wanted in an executive director. The committee used their answers as criterion during their search.
"Those who are looking for an executive director who is an administrator will appreciate David ‘s experience in the business world and his years as a state convention worker," said David Tolliver, search committee member, MBC recording secretary, and pastor of Pisgah Baptist Church, Excelsior Springs. "His overwhelming credentials and leadership in Evangelism Explosion will bring a fresh emphasis in sharing the Gospel and reaching the lost. His church staff and pastoral experience fills out the job requirements and description given to us by Missouri Baptists," he added, referring to the "listening sessions."
A formal recommendation has been mailed to each Executive Board member that includes Clippard’s biography, photos and 12 testimonials from key MBC leaders. Clippard’s passion for evangelism is mentioned in every testimonial.
"In electing David Clippard we will have a man who loves God, God’s Word, and has a passion for evangelism and missions that is in keeping with the purpose of our convention," said Bob Curtis, MBC president and pastor of Ballwin Baptist Church, Ballwin.
Born Jan. 1, 1949, in Cape Girardeau, Clippard graduated from Jackson High School in 1967 and the University of Missouri in 1972 with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics. After working in real estate for several years, he was ordained into the Gospel ministry in 1981 while serving as associate pastor/evangelism for Southcliff Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas. He earned a master of divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1984.
Clippard was vice president of North American ministries for Evangelism Explosion International in Fort Lauderdale from 1983 until 1988. During that period he also served on staff as interim minister of adult education at First Baptist Church, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., with O.S. Hawkins, then the church’s senior pastor and now president of the SBC Annuity Board.
Clippard was pastor of Sarasota Baptist Church, Sarasota, Fla., from 1988 until 1996.
Since 1996, Clippard has served the BGCO. He began as the director of evangelism during the time the convention was in the process of restructuring into ministry teams. As a part of the restructuring, Clippard was named one of three associate executive directors working directly under the executive director. His management responsibilities included the areas of evangelism, church planting and Baptist collegiate ministries (37 campuses) throughout Oklahoma.
The hiring of Clippard, who still serves on the board of directors for Evangelism Explosion International, is part of the continuing quest by conservatives to move the state toward more aggressive evangelistic and church planting efforts.
"Dave Clippard’s experience as a businessman, as a pastor, and most recently as one of the nation’s leading state evangelism directors, enables him to bring to the table a rare combination of experience, inspiration and vision," said Tom Eliff, former SBC president and pastor of First Southern Baptist Church, Del City, where he is a member. "These are crucial days for Missouri Baptists. Dave Clippard will bring integrity, decisiveness, doctrinal conviction and evangelistic zeal to the position of executive director."
Clippard and his wife, Suzanna, have three children, Matthew Ryan, 26, Kristen Anne, 24, and Mark Andrew, 21.