The Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina has launched its search for a new leader with the formation of a search committee that was announced in an email sent to supporters and friends of the ministry Friday morning (Nov. 3).
The email said that a seven-member Transition and Search Committee was selected and confirmed by the BCHNC’s board of trustees in October, and the committee has been “tasked with overseeing the search process for [BCHNC’s] next executive leader.”
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The committee is made up of six current members of the BCHNC’s board of trustees and a representative from the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. Members of the committee are:
- David Powell of Sylva (chair)
- Matt Glover of Seaboard (vice-chair)
- Justin Lee of Clinton (secretary)
- Vickie Burge of Fayetteville
- Ken Haigler of Wilmington
- Chris Watkins of Durham
- Seth Brown of Wake Forest (Baptist state convention designee)
The email statement was signed by Powell, who is serving as chair of the search team and also pastors Lovedale Baptist Church in Sylva. Powell wrote that the committee is currently assessing BCHNC’s leadership needs and pledged that the committee would provide regular updates during the search process.
“The Transition and Search Committee is currently in the process of assessing the leadership needs of the organization,” Powell wrote. “Once this time of assessment is completed, the search for a new president will begin. There will be additional information in the days ahead.”
Call for prayer
Powell also called on North Carolina Baptists and other supporters and friends of the ministry to pray for members of the search committee and the process.
“As the committee undertakes this important responsibility, we do so in humility seeking the leader that God has prepared for this new season,” Powell wrote. “Friends, this is a process that must be saturated in prayer, and there are no better prayer warriors than you — the ones who are passionate about the Baptist Children’s Homes ministry and everyone who is served through it.”
Specifically, Powell asked for prayer for wisdom and discernment for members of the search committee, as well as “for God to prepare the heart of the person who He has already chosen to be the next leader.” Powell also asked for prayer for BCHNC “leaders, staff, cottage parents, foster parents and caregivers as they continue to meet the daily needs of all those who turn to us seeking help and hope.”
BCHNC is seeking a new leader for the first time in four decades after longtime president and CEO Michael C. Blackwell retired in September as part of an agreement between Blackwell and the organization following an independent financial review that revealed multiple instances of misuse of BCHNC funds.
Prior to his retirement, Blackwell had been on a leave of absence since late May while the review took place.
Blackwell, 81, was the longest-tenured president in BCHNC history. He became BCHNC’s eighth president in July 1983 and served in the role for 40 years.
BCHNC Chief Operating Officer Keith Henry and Executive Vice President for Development Brenda Gray have shared presidential leadership responsibilities for the organization since Blackwell’s leave began in May.