Dwight Easler, pastor of Corinth Baptist Church in Gaffney, was elected chairman of the South Carolina Baptist Convention’s Executive Board for 2014 at its year-end meeting on Dec. 12 at the convention building in Columbia.
Easler, who has served as Corinth’s pastor since May 2004, was elected by acclamation. Bryan Fields, pastor of First Baptist Church, Elloree, was elected vice chairman, and Steven Owensby, pastor of First Baptist Church, Enoree, was elected secretary.
Tom Tucker, pastor of Sisk Memorial Baptist Church, Fort Mill, moderated the board meeting. Tucker concluded five years of board service, including serving as chairman in 2013.
Tucker joined 2014 SCBC president, D.J. Horton, pastor of Anderson Mill Road Baptist Church in Moore, in praising the convention staff.
“I want to take a moment to thank our convention staff for all of its hard work,” Tucker said. “As board members, we are able to work very efficiently because of the staff’s support.”
Horton attended the board meeting with other convention officers, who gathered for the first time since November’s annual meeting. “I want conversations about our future to be driven by the reality that we have incredible people serving on our convention staff,” Horton said. “I’m grateful for the team that we have.”
“I want people in our state to hear the gospel, and that will require interesting and complex discussions,” he told staff members attending the board meeting. “But nothing that I say or don’t say regarding our future should be taken as an indictment against the incredible people on our convention staff. You are here because God has called you here.”
Tucker thanked Jim Austin, executive director-treasurer of the convention, who received an affirming year-end evaluation from the board’s Administrative Committee.
David Dinkins, chairman of the Administrative Committee, commended Austin with a “great evaluation for the great work he does within and for us.”
Austin also thanked the convention staff and recognized the following staff members who are celebrating anniversaries:
- Wayne Terry, associate executive director, 5 years
- Amanda Trotter, accounting assistant, 10 years
- Tim Rice, director, missions mobilization, 10 years
- Ken Owens, director of collegiate ministry, 20 years
- Fan Hopple, team assistant for evangelism and missions, 20 years
- Robert Grant, director of church retirement, insurance and administration, 30 years
- Ezekiel Thomas, building technician, 30 years
In other business, the board approved recommendations from the Nominations Committee placing new board members on appropriate board committees, and amending the board’s standing rules for better clarification of how board members will be placed on committees. Nominations Committee chairman Stephen Owensby said the rule changes do not change the committee’s practice but better clarify how members are assigned to committees.
The board also heard a report from the Planning and Ministries Committee regarding the need for mission volunteers and missionaries in India, where the convention has a missions partnership.