Alabama International Mission Board (IMB) trustee Ken Burnham said he is excited by the Nov. 6 announcement that Paul Chitwood will be unanimously recommended by the trustee’s Presidential Search Committee as the entity’s 13th president.
“I am excited that we will be considering someone who not only says he supports the SBC (Southern Baptist Convention) and its funding mechanisms but has a track record to prove it,” said Burnham, a member of Meadow Brook Baptist Church, Oxford, in Calhoun Baptist Association.
Chitwood, 48, has served as executive director of the Kentucky Baptist Convention since 2011. For 18 years Chitwood served as the pastor of local Kentucky churches of varying sizes. As a pastor his churches averaged giving 18.5 percent through the Cooperative Program.
During his pastorates he served as an IMB trustee from 2002 to 2010 and chairman of the IMB trustees from 2008 to 2010. His overseas short-term missions involvement includes work in Brazil, Peru, India, China, South Africa, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Kenya, England, Spain, Germany and Haiti.
Chitwood’s commitment to advancing the gospel globally is a big reason Alabama IMB trustee Jay Wolf, pastor of First Baptist Church, Montgomery, in Montgomery Baptist Association, was pleased with Chitwood’s recommendation to be IMB president.
‘A proven and respected leader’
“Paul is a proven and respected leader. Additionally he is a tremendous communicator and a brilliant organizer,” Wolf said. “He will help us engage many more people in the ultimate cause of sharing Christ with the world. God will use Paul as a catalyst to take His work of doing the Great Commission to new heights.”
Alabama IMB trustee Max Croft, associate pastor of Agape Baptist Church, Scottsboro, in Tennessee River Baptist Association, said he is “impressed with Chitwood’s knowledge of the IMB mission and culture.”
Alabama IMB trustee Cecil Sanders, pastor of First Baptist Church, Headland, in Judson Baptist Association, said he is thankful the committee made trustees aware of Chitwood’s recommendation prior to the Nov. 15 meeting so they have time to learn about him and pray for trustees’ dialogue with him.
“I have great confidence in our search committee’s selection because I am well aware of the diligent and prayerful process its members undertook to bring forth Dr. Chitwood as the nominee,” Sanders said.
A native of Jellico, Tennessee, Chitwood is a 1992 graduate of Cumberland College (now University of the Cumberlands), where he has served as a trustee. He earned a master of divinity degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1995 and a doctorate from the seminary in 2001. He currently is pursuing a master’s degree in nonprofit administration from the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.
Vote scheduled for Nov. 15
Trustees will vote on the recommendation of Chitwood as president during their plenary session scheduled for Nov. 15 at 10 a.m. EST, in Richmond, Virginia.
By Chitwood’s request, pending trustee approval, Clyde Meador will remain in the president’s office as interim executive vice president during the transition. Meador has served as IMB interim president since Sept. 27. (TAB, Baptist Press)