NEW ORLEANS — Men whose offices on the 7th floor of the Baptist Building are separated by a mere 27 feet were re-elected to their longtime posts in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) here during the June 19-20 annual meeting.
Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) Executive Director John Yeats was re-elected for his 15th year of service as recording secretary, and MBC Strategic Partners Team Leader Jim Wells was re-elected for his 11th year as registration secretary.
Yeats was quick to credit the important work of his wife, Sharon, and Wells’ wife, Judy, down through the years as it concerns these SBC offices.
“The excellence that Sharon brings to my work as the recording secretary is incredible,” Yeats said. “Sharon is a superb proofreader and organizer. She also is my chief intercessor as I work with others serving the SBC. I know that Jim feels the same way about Judy. We both married ‘way up.’”
Wells was particularly emotional about his re-election, having watched the proceedings online in Houston due to his recovery from cancer surgery. He gave thanks for the coordinated effort in his absence of some 150 people who pulled together to make the registration process work.
“It was a little different being re-elected (without being there), but it is a tremendous honor that Southern Baptists would put their trust in me again for another year of service,” he said.
Wells praised his “incredible” doctors and medical support staff, as well as the thousands who were praying for him.
“So many friends and folks that I’ve worked these 10 years with have called me, emailed me, supported me, encouraged me,” he said.
Yeats likewise said he is “incredibly honored” to be in his position again.
“Although there is a great sense of responsibility with serving on the SBC Executive Committee, the technical aspects of this role are needful to our cooperative work,” he said. “The proceedings of the annual meeting, the final edits of the Book of Reports and the SBC Annual, and the technical reading skill associated with the Executive Committee are important aspects of this office. While it is not in the ‘job description,’ I also seize the opportunity to specifically intercede for each of the Great Commission Council members and the SBC Executive Committee members.”
Wells said the key to success in his position is to concentrate on the priceless worth of the messengers.
“Mes sengers are the representatives of their churches, so I’m going to do everything that I can in the bylaws to be sure that they are going to be seated as a messenger so that they can vote on convention matters,” he said.