October 23, 2013
By Jeff Huett
DECATUR, Ga. — The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship announced today a 12-member search committee formed to select a new CBF Coordinator of Global Missions.
The group is chaired by CBF of North Carolina Missions Coordinator Linda Jones and will assemble at its first meeting in mid-November. Resumes will be accepted through Jan. 6.
Jim Smith has served as interim coordinator of Global Missions since Rob Nash left CBF for Mercer University’s McAfee School of Theology to be professor of missions and world religions and associate dean. Nash led CBF’s Global Missions work from 2006 until June 2012.
During Nash’s tenure, Global Missions implemented a new strategic plan that reiterated CBF’s commitment to the most neglected while building innovative structures for engagement. Under Nash’s leadership, the Fellowship commissioned at the 2009 General Assembly the first network of field personnel, churches and individuals as a ministry team among people in China. CBF Global Missions has also implemented eight mission communities through which churches and individuals can engage alongside field personnel.
Jim Smith was among the first field personnel appointed by the Fellowship when he and his wife, Becky, were commissioned in 1993 as CBF liaisons to Europe based in Berlin, Germany. In 2000, they took on the role of area coordinators for missions teams – Europe. In 2008, Jim Smith was named director of field ministries. Becky Smith remains an area coordinator for missions teams with responsibility for the Americas.
Jones said the committee welcomes input and prayer from all Cooperative Baptists.
“We have gathered a great team that well-represents the churches, states and regions, and individuals that comprise the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship,” Jones said. “We are living in new and exciting times to be on mission with God and expect to find a strategic leader as the Global Missions coordinator.”
Suzii Paynter, CBF Executive Coordinator, said she is looking forward to finding the right person for the Global Missions role.
“Global Missions is something we do together as a Fellowship,” Paynter said. “I am excited to dream together with this fine committee about CBF’s Greater Missions Enterprise. We are off to a great start to find the person that God has prepared to lead our witness as the presence of Christ in the world.”
Members of the committee
- Linda M. Jones (chair), Missions Coordinator, CBF of North Carolina, Winston-Salem, N.C.
- Ryan Clark, Specialist and Training Manager for Global Missions, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, Decatur, Ga.
- Bill Coates, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church, Gainesville, Ga.
- Arville Earl, Retired CBF Field Personnel, Talmo, Ga.
- Chris Ellis, Minister of Mission and Outreach, Second Baptist Church, Little Rock, Ark.
- Beverly Greer, Retired Missions Coordinator at CBF of South Carolina, Belton, S.C.
- Bill McConnell, CBF Moderator, Knoxville, Tenn. (Ex-officio member)
- Michael Oliver, Senior Pastor, Trinity Baptist Church, Madison, Ala. (Missions Council representative)
- Joe Phelps, Pastor, Highland Baptist Church, Louisville, Ky.
- Rob Sellers, Professor of Theology and Connally Professor of Missions, Logsdon School of Theology, Hardin-Simmons University, Abilene, Texas
- Rachel Gunter Shapard, Associate Coordinator, CBF of Florida, Jacksonville, Fla.
- Steve Wells, Pastor, South Main Baptist Church, Houston, Texas (Governing Board representative)
CBF is a fellowship of Baptist Christians and churches who share a passion for the Great Commission and a commitment to Baptist principles of faith and practice. The Fellowship’s mission is to serve Christians and churches as they discover and fulfill their God-given mission.