IMB appoints 24 missionaries, hears abuse prevention update

International Mission Board trustees approved the appointment of 24 new full-time, fully funded personnel to take the gospel to unreached people and places during their Sept. 25-26 meeting.

The meeting also included an update on an external report regarding IMB’s prevention and response to abuse and harassment; approval of a balanced budget for 2019-20, projected at $267.4 million; and orientation for 23 new trustees, who included Marshall Blalock and Glenn Steen from South Carolina.

Blalock has served as pastor of First Baptist Church of Charleston since 1997. Over the past two decades, First Baptist has developed mission partnerships through the IMB, working in Peru, Central Asia, Northern Africa and the Middle East, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. Currently nine church members are serving full-time with the IMB in four countries. Blalock earned his M.Div. degree at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and D.Min. degree at North Greenville University.

Steen, a business owner from Lancaster, serves as a deacon, Sunday school teacher, stewardship chairman, and Vacation Bible School teacher at Immanuel Baptist Church. He is pursuing a degree in Christian studies at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Steen and his wife, Patti, have either led or participated in mission work on five continents. He also works with a parachurch organization that trains indigenous pastors and church leaders in Africa and Asia.

The 24 new missionaries were appointed during a Sending Celebration, which also recognized the churches sending them. The celebration, hosted by Swift Creek Baptist Church in Midlothian, Va., featured testimonies from appointees.

In May, the board received recommendations from Gray Plant Mooty concerning the IMB’s handling of past matters and current policies and practices related to the prevention of and response to allegations of child abuse and sexual harassment (including sexual assault). IMB President Paul Chitwood reported to trustees that IMB leadership is methodically implementing every recommendation presented by GPM, including providing compassionate care.