RICHMOND — International Mission Board trustees approved the appointment of 26 new missionaries to take the gospel to the nations during their May 22-23 meeting near Richmond.
Trustees also considered pivotal changes in ministry advancement and prayer strategies; heard recommendations related to IMB’s handling of past allegations of child abuse and sexual harassment; and elected 2019-2020 officers.
The new missionaries were to be commissioned for service at a Sending Celebration on June 11 during the afternoon session of the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting in Birmingham, Ala.
Trustees heard recommendations Wednesday (May 22) from the firm conducting an external examination of IMB’s handling of past allegations of child abuse and sexual harassment (including sexual assault) and IMB’s present policies and practices. Chitwood responded immediately with an apology to victims and a pledge for the future. Leaders also expressed their affirmation of the examination.
Chitwood later said the IMB’s efforts to see the vision of Revelation 7:9 fulfilled have included “such pressing assignments as taking significant steps forward to help guard the safety of every missionary, staff member, TCK (third-culture kid), volunteer, and national partner from abuse.”
Twelve trustees were recognized for their service as they complete their terms or resign, including Jordan Easley, pastor of First Baptist Church, Cleveland.