By Lonnie Wilkey
FRANKLIN — Willie McLaurin, a staff member of the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board for nearly 15 years, was named Dec. 17 as vice president for Great Commission relations and mobilization for the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention — a new position created to maximize resources and gospel impact at the EC.
In his new role with the Executive Committee, McLaurin will have responsibilities for Cooperative Program promotion and stewardship development, strengthening relationships with multiple demographic groups within the SBC, and maintaining relationships with Baptist state conventions. The position is effective Jan. 2, 2020.
“Willie McLaurin is a highly relational, disciplined, gifted and growing leader,” said Ronnie Floyd, EC president and CEO. “At 46 years of age, he is a powerful preacher that inspires people to follow Christ passionately. Willie loves people, and it is more than evident when you are around him.”
McLaurin observed “this is a strategic season for Southern Baptists and I am excited to serve alongside Dr. Floyd as he leads the SBC Executive Committee forward. I am honored and humbled to lead Southern Baptists in giving more generously than we’ve ever given before and reaching more people for Christ than we’ve ever reached before,” he said.
“The time is now for Southern Baptists to realize that every generation matters, every church matters, and every pastor matters,” he added. “Our vision is to reach every person for Jesus Christ in every town, every city, every state and every nation.”
McLaurin, who served as special assistant to Randy C. Davis, president and executive director of the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board, expressed appreciation to Davis and the TBMB for “the privilege to wash the feet of those who serve the local church.
“I had no idea that God used the past 15 years of me serving in Tennessee to prepare me to serve the nation,” McLaurin said.
Davis observed that McLaurin has been “my right hand man” and a member of the TBMB’s Executive Leadership Team for the past five years. “His blend of caring heart and compassion, competency and character, attention to detail and ability to accomplish a given task is unparalleled. Willie is a trusted friend and confidant.”
Davis added that he believes the move is “undoubtedly God’s will for Willie and his sweet family, the TBMB and the SBC. I’m thankful for my brother’s great contribution to the Tennessee Baptist Convention and the impact he has had on my own life.”
Prior to joining the TBMB staff as a leadership development specialist in 2005, McLaurin was executive pastor of Greater Missionary Baptist Church, Clarksville. Prior to that he was senior pastor of Greater Hope Baptist Church, Union City.
McLaurin, a native of North Carolina, has been active in the denomination at both the state and national levels. He served on the Executive Board of the Tennessee Baptist Convention (now TBMB) before joining the staff and was a member of the SBC Resolutions Committee in 2018. McLaurin was also co-chair of the SBC Second Chair Network and is a past president of the Black Southern Baptist Denominational Servants Network. He was the inaugural president of the African American Fellowship of the Tennessee Baptist Convention.
During his ministry with the TBMB, McLaurin, a member of Simeon Baptist Church in Antioch, has served as interim pastor of eight churches, including Immanuel Baptist Church, Lebanon, where he currently is serving.
He added that his tenure with Tennessee Baptists has been “some of the greatest days of my ministry. The honor to serve Tennessee Baptist churches has been a great joy. … I will still be a Tennessee Baptist, redeployed to serve Southern Baptists all across this nation.”
McLaurin and his wife, Antonia, have two daughters, Sierra, 16, and SiChanna, 10. He holds degrees from North Carolina Central University (bachelor of biology and sociology), the Duke University School of Divinity (master of divinity) and Saint Thomas Christian College (honorary doctor of theology). He also served in the United States Army Military Intelligence Corps. B&R — This article includes reporting from Baptist Press.