NASHVILLE — The SBC Executive Committee Presidential Search Team is set to announce its candidate to the public Feb. 18. The team announced Jan. 8 that it plans to present the candidate Feb. 19 at the EC meeting in Nashville.
“The search team arrived at this candidate after following the four-phase process [Neal] Hughes outlined in the EC’s September 2023 meeting: the invitation phase, the interview phase, the investigation phase and the introduction phase,” said a news release from the group.
The release says the team “interviewed 30 candidates via questionnaire, Zoom, and in person.”
Related to the candidate, Hughes, the search team’s chairman, said, “In doing due diligence, we gathered references from over 60 people from every walk of SBC life, including a full review of primary, secondary, and tertiary references.”
Hughes is the director of missions and executive director of the Montgomery Baptist Association and MBA Community Ministries.
“In accordance with the Executive Committee’s newly adopted hiring guidelines, we completed an extensive list of checks and tests. The search team evaluated the person during numerous meetings, reviewing his vision and having our questions answered,” he said in the statement.
The position was made vacant when Ronnie Floyd resigned in Oct. 2021. An initial search team presented Jared Wellman, a Texas pastor and former EC chairman, in May 2023, but EC members declined the team’s recommendation.
Willie McLaurin, an EC vice president, became the front-runner for the post this past summer but withdrew his name when he resigned from the EC after confessing to falsifying information related to his academic background.
The search team said it prioritized the following characteristics:
- Humility and Fruit of the Spirit
- Uniter and Bridgebuilder
- Strong Business Acumen
- Good Preacher and Communicator
- History of Leading Staff with Strategic Focus
- Intimate Knowledge of SBC Dynamics/Issues,
- Transparent, Solution-Minded, Hope-Filled
The EC is set to meet Feb. 19-20 at the SBC building in Nashville. B&R