Committee begins search for new Baptist state executive

The search committee charged with finding a new executive to lead the South Carolina Baptist Convention has developed a “healthy chemistry” and a “God-centered, brotherly tenor,” attributes that will be essential in reaching a unified decision, says the group’s chairman.

Marshall Blalock, pastor of Charleston First Baptist Church and chairman of the search committee, told messengers at the November SCBC annual meeting that the group has established a regular meeting schedule and developed a “profile summary” for the person being sought to replace Jim Austin, who retired as SCBC executive director-treasurer in October 2014. Richard Harris, a retired vice president with the North American Mission Board, is serving as interim state executive.

The committee is seeking someone who is a “Spirit-filled, God-called disciple of Christ; a visionary leader characterized by a humble boldness for Christ and his kingdom; and a strategic thinker with a proven record of faithful and productive Great Commission ministry,” Blalock reported to the messengers.

He said the search committee asks for the prayers of South Carolina Baptists for “wisdom, discernment and the direction of God.”

In addition to Blalock, members of the search committee include:

Alex Sands (vice chairman), pastor of Kingdom Life Christian Center in Mauldin

• Dwight Easler (ex officio), pastor of Corinth Baptist Church in Gaffney

• Bryan Fields, pastor of Elloree First Baptist Church

• Will Browning, teaching pastor of Journey Church in Summerville

• Ty Childers, pastor of Fairview Baptist Church, Spartanburg

• Rocky Purvis, pastor of Northside Baptist Church in West Columbia

• Duane Greene, member of Pickens First Baptist Church

• Larry Baldwin, pastor of Hillcrest Baptist Church, Williamston

• Joe Willard, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, Darlington