The Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention announced Monday (Jan. 8) it plans to present and vote on a candidate to serve as its president/CEO at the EC’s next meeting in Nashville, Feb. 19–20.
The news comes after the search team interviewed 30 candidates “via questionnaire, Zoom and in person,” according to search committee chairman Neal Hughes in a press release. He noted the search team now has the candidate, “we feel led by the Lord to present to you, the trustees, in executive session on February 19.”
The EC noted in its news release the search team “arrived at this candidate after following the four-phase process Hughes outlined in the EC’s September 2023 meeting: the invitation phase, the interview phase, the investigation phase and the introduction phase.”
“In doing due diligence, we gathered references from over 60 people from every walk of SBC life, including a full review of primary, secondary, and tertiary references,” added Hughes, director of missions and executive director of the Montgomery (Alabama) Baptist Association and MBA Community Ministries.
“In accordance with the Executive Committee’s newly adopted hiring guidelines,” Hughes noted “we completed an extensive list of checks and tests. The search team evaluated the person during numerous meetings, reviewing his vision and having our questions answered.”
The EC’s next president will fill the vacancy left by interim president Willie McLaurin, who unexpectedly stepped down in August after admitting to falsifying his resume. At the time, McLaurin appeared to be the top candidate by many for the position. Jonathan Howe, who has served the EC since 2019 as vice president for communications, was tapped by the EC to fill in as interim president following McLaurin’s departure.
The search team, Hughes said, will officially inform the public of the candidate’s name on Sunday, Feb. 18.