RICHMOND, Va. – Kentucky Baptist Convention Executive Director Paul Chitwood is receiving strong endorsements from Southern Baptist Convention leaders who are recommending him as the next president of the International Mission Board.
IMB Chairman Rick Dunbar: “As I have studied our IMB history and our past presidents, it is clear that God continues to build on the foundation laid down by so many. I believe that Paul brings many gifts and strengths that are exactly what we need right now. “I have served as a trustee under Jerry Rankin, Tom Elliff, David Platt and Clyde Meador. They are all different, but I believe that each was called to this position with a unique perspective and giftedness, and we thank God for all of them. Paul brings a unique perspective also. He is a proven leader, motivator, and mobilizer, he is committed to missions, and he gives his all to the pursuit of God’s will. I believe Paul has the ability to unite the SBC and local churches to work cooperatively for the spread of the gospel all around the world. It is obvious that God has been preparing Paul Chitwood for this role in so many ways. Examine his work history, denominational experience, trustee background, educational history, leadership and team-building history; hear his heart for missions and the Lord, to be shared with the entire world; listen to his wife as she eagerly anticipates this role — and I think you will agree: We need him.”
IMB search committee chairman Chuck Pourciau: “Little did the Presidential Search Committee anticipate the meandering path that would be this search. There were many twists and turns, but our commitment remained singular. It didn’t matter what path we took as long as we ended up in the right place. The right place is to locate and recommend to the trustees the person God had already chosen as the next leader of the International Mission Board. We are unanimously agreed that we have done just that in recommending to the IMB trustees Dr. Paul Chitwood as our next president. Dr. Chitwood is uniquely qualified to lead us into the next era of Southern Baptists reaching the nations. His missions heart and leadership acumen will serve us well in the years to come. I am eager to watch God work through him as he leads our international missions efforts. Yes, brothers and sisters, we did indeed arrive at the right place, and that right place is Dr. Paul Chitwood.”
IMB Interim President Clyde Meador: “I have known Paul for 16 years, and have consistently been impressed by and thankful for his commitment to the spread of the gospel to the ends of the earth, as well as his excellent leadership skills. When Paul was serving as chairman of IMB trustees, he became an integral part of the leadership team, even to the point of having a significant part in crafting our vision statement that continues as a guide even today. His keen insight, leadership strength, commitment to the Great Commission, humility, and understanding of the lost world that lies before us, as well as unusual knowledge of the SBC, all combine to make him the ideal next president of IMB.”
IMB presidential search committee member Cindy Snead: “It was a great privilege to get to know Paul through our search process. As an IMB trustee for eight years, and the chairman of the trustee board for two terms, he expressed a unique understanding of the demands of the role of president. In addition, his educational preparations and ministry background have shaped him to be ready to move into this demanding role. Yet, I sensed his deep heart of servant leadership when he told us his greatest passion is ‘the Lord’s kindness to me.’ His time leading in Kentucky demonstrates how he values entities and cooperation, and I have no doubt he will leverage the relationships he has developed thus far in his ministry. It was exciting to see him light up when we talked about the missionaries on the field, his passion to be a mobilizer and his yearning to see people saved.”
Duane Ostrem, IMB field leader, Asia, and member of president search committee: “I am very happy to join with the rest of the Presidential Search Committee in recommending that Dr. Paul Chitwood be approved as our next IMB president. Dr. Chitwood is passionate about missions. He understands the workings of the IMB. He loves missionaries. His humble but strong leadership style will enable him to work well with our Richmond personnel, our field missionaries, and our SBC churches. His vision for the future will inspire and guide the IMB as we seek to make disciples of all nations.”