CBF Governing Board issues Statement of Affirmation for Executive Coordinator Suzii Paynter


August 25, 2016

By Jeff Huett

DECATUR, Ga. —  The Governing Board of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, CBF Moderator Doug Dortch and the leadership of CBF’s 18 state and regional organizations have released statements today affirming Suzii Paynter as CBF Executive Coordinator.

The text of the CBF Governing Board statement follows:

Members of the CBF Governing Board learned in recent weeks of circumstances leading Executive Coordinator Suzii Paynter to initiate divorce proceedings in her 44-year marriage. While divorce is regrettable, unexpected, and painful, the Bible does identify circumstances under which such a step is permissible.

When the Officers of the CBF Governing Board received this information, they spoke in detail with Suzii regarding the matter and determined that she has met the highest standard of biblical conduct in response to it. The Officers concluded that she has done nothing that would adversely affect her ability to fulfill her responsibilities as Executive Coordinator, among which is to “provide spiritual leadership in keeping CBF focused to its purpose” and expressing “exemplary Christian character.”

The Officers reported their recommendation to the full Governing Board, which also spoke with Suzii. After their review of the situation, the Governing Board was in full agreement with the Officers’ recommendation and has joined with them in unanimously pledging their full endorsement of Suzii and her handling of this painful personal matter, and unequivocally supports her in her continued role as leader of the daily operations and mission of CBF.

The Governing Board asks for prayer for Suzii and her family, and requests those affiliated with the Fellowship to continue to support and encourage Suzii in her work on the Fellowship’s behalf.

Doug Dortch – Moderator
Shauw Chin Capps – Moderator-Elect
Matt Cook – Past Moderator
Katie Sciba – Recorder

Paul Baxley
Jason Callahan
Daniel Carro
Charles Fuller
David King
Bill Leonard
Steve Little
Bill McConnell
Jim Somerville
Kristen Tucker
Steve Wells
Rebecca Wiggs

Doug Dortch, CBF Moderator and Senior Minister of Mountain Brook Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., also issued a statement of support for Suzii Paynter:

While I hurt for Suzii and her family in this most difficult season in their lives, I am absolutely confident in her ability to lead our organization into the good future God has for us all. In fact, seeing how she has already had to balance the hard and painful aspects of this matter with the pressing demands of her position only has strengthened my appreciation for her leadership.

Leaders of CBF’s 18 State and Regional Organizations issued a statement affirming Suzii Paynter’s leadership:

In solidarity with CBF’s Governing Board, state and regional coordinators who comprise the Movement Leadership Team (MLT) unanimously affirm and express confidence in the leadership of our Executive Coordinator Suzii Paynter. We join our thoughts and prayers with those of the Governing Board for the Paynter family during these difficult days.

Rhonda Blevins  – CBF Kentucky
Phyllis Boozer – Baptist Fellowship of the Northeast
Frank Broome – CBF of Georgia
Terri Byrd – Alabama CBF
Jason Coker – CBF of Mississippi
Jim and Susan Crumpler  – North Central Region CBF
Glen Foster – CBF West
Steve Graham – CBF of Oklahoma
Ray Higgins – CBF of Arkansas
Larry Hovis – CBF of North Carolina
Ray Johnson – Florida CBF
Jay Kieve – CBF of South Carolina
Jeff Langford – CBF Heartland
Terry Maples – CBF of Virginia
Mike Massar – CBF of Louisiana
Rick McClatchy – CBF of Texas
Trisha Miller Manarin – Mid-Atlantic CBF
Gene Wilder (Interim) – Tennessee CBF


CBF is a Christian Network that helps people put their faith to practice through ministry efforts, global missions and a broad community of support. The Fellowship’s mission is to serve Christians and churches as they discover and fulfill their God-given mission.

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