Executive Director Search Committee
JEFFERSON CITY – The committee tasked with finding a new executive director for the Missouri Baptist Convention has received a number of resumes and will continue to accept them through Dec. 15.
The Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) Executive Search Committee is hopeful of narrowing the list of candidates to three or four by mid-January, said James Freeman, committee chairman and a member of Oakwood Baptist Church, Kansas City.
“We continue to meet and receive nominations,” Freeman told The Pathway in an Oct. 19 interview. “We encourage Missouri and Southern Baptists to send us additional nominations as they feel led of the Lord. Like Caleb and Joshua’s men sent to Jericho we have been sent forth to bring back a good report to lead the flock forth to fulfill the Great Commission. The Lord is leading us.”
The committee has held two meetings at the Baptist Building in Jefferson City, the most recent on Oct. 24. Freeman said they have been communicating regularly via email since the committee was formed by an Executive Board vote on July 10.
“Our group has come together to make sure our next executive director is a unifier who is committed to conservative values, biblical based evangelism and helping our churches carry out the Great Commission in their communities, our state, our nation and to whatever people groups and ministries God leads us throughout our neighborhoods and the world.”
He said the committee’s first two meetings focused on making sure that all the committee members have seen the resumes of all nominees received thus far and to stress the importance of their role in expanding the number of nominations.
“We have a responsibility to find an executive director who understands the diversity of our state with regard to the size of our churches, the people and communities we serve, the various ministries and how the MBC and its ministries can assist all of them in growing the kingdom without compromising doctrinal integrity,” Freeman said.
The committee discussed having listening sessions around the state, but decided not to do so in order to not slow down the process and because of the clear direction given it by the Missouri Baptist Convention.
Freeman said once the committee has narrowed the number of candidates to three or four an extensive vetting process will begin that will include background checks and interviewing references – three to five levels deep. The search committee will engage in an extensive interview process with a preset list of questions that will be the same for every candidate.
“That way we can compare candidates on the same basis,” Freeman noted.
He said the only timetable for calling an executive director belongs to God.
“We want to do the Lord’s work as timely and quickly as possible, yet take the time to do the job correctly. We understand the Lord will say, ‘Go forth and conquer,’ and we will, but we want to do it wisely,” he said. “Out of Joshua’s willingness to go forth came Rehab, from Rehab came Boaz and through Boaz came our Redeemer.”
In addition to Freeman, the executive director search committee includes: John Marshall, pastor, Second Baptist Church, Springfield (vice chairman); Doug Austin, laity, Bethany Baptist Church, Cape Girardeau; Gary Barkley, minister of education and outreach, Pisgah Baptist Church, Excelsior Springs; Diana Chambers, laity, West County Community Baptist Church, Wildwood; Randy Comer, pastor, Highview Baptist Church, Chillicothe; Larry Fackler, director of missions, Lamine Baptist Association; Ed Hamilton, interim pastor, Ozark Baptist Church, Houston; Lyn Heying, pastor, New Oakland Baptist Church, Palmyra; Jeff Purvis, pastor, First Baptist Church, Herculaneum-Peveley; and Jody Shelenhamer, laity, First Baptist Church, Bolivar.