In the upcoming Feb. 21–22 meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, officers intend to designate the interim president of the EC, left vacant Oct. 31 upon the resignation of then-President Ronnie Floyd.
SBC Executive Committee bylaws stipulate the EC’s seven officers “may, pending action by the board of trustees, designate a vice president [of the EC] to act as interim president or as president pro-tem, subject to any restrictions which might be imposed, in the event of the death or resignation of the president, or in the event the president is unable to perform the duties of the office because of physical or mental impairment.”
Current EC vice presidents are Jonathan Howe, Communications; Willie McLaurin, Great Commission relations and mobilization; and Jeff Pearson, Chief Financial Officer.
Officers are Rolland Slade, chairman; Stacy Bramlett, vice chair; Monte Shinkle, secretary; and committee chairs Erik Cummings, Convention Events and Strategic Planning; Andrew Hunt, Convention Missions and Ministry; Jim Gregory, Southern Baptist Relations; and Archie Mason, Convention Finances and Stewardship Development.
‘Time to think’
In an interview with The Baptist Paper in November, Slade stated, “We’ve been through systematic chaos for four years … and we need time to think about what we want to do.”
The top seat shifted from Frank Page to Augie Boto (as interim EC president) in 2018. Ronnie Floyd was elected president in 2019 but resigned in October 2021 along with executive vice president Greg Addison and several EC board members.
Additionally, in November Julio Arriola, the EC’s executive director for Hispanic relations and mobilization since December 2019, announced he has taken a new position as director of Send Network for Southern Baptists of Texas Convention, a church planting partnership between the North American Mission Board and SBTC.
“There is a lot going on and we need to let the staff breathe and not put the pressure on determining who’s going to be leading,” Slade said. “We have three very capable godly men leading the three departments that remain and we need to empower them to do their job.”
He added that he did not expect that the EC would “have a new president before Anaheim (in June).”
Following debate that took place in September and October EC meetings over the vote to waive attorney-client privilege in the Guidepost investigation into sexual abuse claims in the SBC, the most recent EC called meeting was held Nov. 10 via Zoom, and members of the media were not invited to attend what seemed to be a routine, “housekeeping” type of meeting.
EC meetings typically occur in person three times per year — in February, June and September. Meeting virtually is relatively new for the group, which currently has fewer than 70 members, with 86 members being a full slate.