The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF) unanimously approved its third executive coordinator Feb. 21.
The CBF Coordinating Council cast assenting votes for Suzii Paynter of Austin, Texas. She will officially begin work March 1 at the Atlanta office.
“Suzii Paynter has been with us since the beginning,” said George Mason, chairman of the CBF Executive Coordinator Search Committee and pastor of Wilshire Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas. “She is a lifelong Baptist. While it was important to our committee to honor the history and culture that has marked us as a peculiar people, we also knew that innovation is part of our makeup. We did not believe our duty was to recommend a caretaker for CBF’s legacy, but rather to write a fresh chapter of our history that will be marked by the same spirit of exploration found in our founders.”
The previous CBF executive directors were Daniel Vestal (1996-2012) and Cecil Sherman (1992-1996).
Paynter served as the director of the Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission and director of the Advocacy Care Center of the Baptist General Convention of Texas (BGCT). In this position she directed all public policy initiatives for state and federal issues and built relationships with other religious bodies. She also handled church outreach, the state’s hunger offering and other areas of social justice and chaplain/counseling services.
Paynter has served alongside her husband, Roger Paynter, who currently leads First Baptist Church (FBC) in Austin, Texas, and teaches at the Seminary of the Southwest. She is an ordained deacon at FBC Austin and Sunday School teacher of more than 40 years.
Paynter was raised in church at Trinity Baptist Church in San Antonio, Texas, and has consistently held positions of leadership at CBF churches in Texas, Kentucky and Mississippi where she has been a member.