The search team seeking the next president and CEO of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee has resumed interviews with interim Willie McLaurin, the team’s chairman announced Monday (July 17) .
McLaurin was the EC’s vice president for Great Commission relations and mobilization before becoming interim president and CEO in February 2022, following the resignation of Ronnie Floyd. He was one of the candidates considered by the original search team appointed to fill the president/CEO post, but the team recommended Texas pastor Jared Wellman in May. Wellman’s nomination failed after some EC members expressed concerns about the search process.
A new search team was appointed, led by chairman Neal Hughes, director of missions for the Montgomery Baptist Association in Montgomery, Alabama.
In the statement shared with The Baptist Paper, Hughes wrote, “Considering the many endorsements from pastors, state convention leaders, and national entity heads, and considering an overwhelming sense in our hearts that we are being obedient to the Holy Spirit, your present search team decided that we should continue where the former search team left off by doing our own due diligence and interviews with Dr. Willie McLaurin, Interim President/CEO of the SBC Executive Committee.”
McLaurin is the first African American to serve as head of a Southern Baptist entity, including interim leaders. Before coming to the EC, he was special assistant to the executive director at the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board.
Hughes said in Monday’s release that the last six weeks for the search team have been filled with “face-to-face gatherings, zoom meetings, numerous email discussions and much research.”
The team is planning another update in the next six weeks.