Two decades ago, when Rick Lance was elected executive director of the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions (SBOM), he said he would do everything he could “to focus the energies and talents and gifts of Alabama Baptists on being the salt of today’s life.”
He said his pledge was to “do my best to uphold the highest degree of integrity as a Christian leader” and devote himself “to helping Alabama Baptists make a difference for Christ in our world.”
And now, on Lance’s 20th anniversary, Tim Cox, current chair of the SBOM personnel committee, said Lance has lived that pledge well.
“Dr. Rick Lance’s leadership as executive director of Alabama Baptists over the last 20 years has influenced my life and ministry as a pastor through his focused, faithful and fervent leadership,” said Cox, pastor of Liberty Baptist Church, Chelsea. “He is a faithful follower of Christ, a fruitful servant in Great Commission ministries, a fearless prayer warrior and one that I am honored to call my friend. I am grateful for an executive director who deeply cares for pastors and encourages us often.”
Before coming to the SBOM, Lance was a pastor himself, having served most recently at First Baptist Church, Tuscaloosa, from 1983 to 1998. During that time, he was active in the state convention, serving as president from 1990 to 1992. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Samford University in Birmingham and his master of divinity and doctor of education from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
On June 16, 1998, Lance was named as the successor of Troy Morrison, who had led the SBOM since 1990. He began serving under Morrison on July 15, 1998, and then took the helm in February 1999 after Morrison’s retirement.
The call to state missions was “a life-changing experience,” Lance said.
“I am grateful to Alabama Baptists and to our Lord for the opportunity to serve in this Kingdom capacity,” he said. “I believe the best is yet to be as we look to the future as an Alabama Baptist family of faith.” (Grace Thornton)