The Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) announced Jan. 24 its 2018 Leadership Council.
The 75 pastors and leaders on the council will receive equipping from the ERLC staff designed to help them and their churches apply the gospel of Jesus to all areas of life. The commission, which initiated the council in 2014, unveils its latest list of council members each January.
ERLC President Russell Moore said he is excited each year “to be able to partner with a new group of leaders from around the country who are eager to address issues of great importance with a gospel focus both in the life of their churches and in the public square.”
“As an organization, we exist to serve churches, as they engage some of the most difficult cultural and societal questions imaginable every day,” Moore said in a written release. “I’m thrilled to be able to serve alongside these men and women to do all we can to model faithful Christian witness.”
Among the 2018 members who were also part of the Leadership Council last year are:
- H.B. Charles, pastor-teacher of Shiloh Church of Jacksonville and Orange Park, Fla., and president of the 2018 Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) Pastors’ Conference;
- Jen Wilkin, author and Bible teacher, as well as a member of The Village Church in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex;
- Byron Day, senior pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Laurel, Md., and president of the National African American Fellowship of the SBC;
- Matt Chandler, lead pastor of teaching at The Village Church in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex;
- Kevin Smith, executive director of the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware;
- Jimmy Scroggins, lead pastor of Family Church in West Palm Beach, Fla.
The new members, who make up about two-thirds of the council, include:
- J.D. Greear, pastor of The Summit Church in the Raleigh/Durham, N.C., area;
- Jose Abella, lead pastor of Providence Road Church in Miami, Fla., and the SBC’s second vice president;
- Teresa Chambers, interim head of school at First Baptist Academy in Houston;
- Grant Ethridge, senior pastor of Liberty Baptist Church in Hampton Roads, Va.;
- Noe Garcia, senior pastor of North Phoenix Baptist Church;
- Buddy Gray, senior pastor of Hunter Street Baptist Church in Hoover, Ala.;
- Averri LeMalle, associate pastor of Champion Forest Baptist Church in Houston;
- Ronnie Parrott, lead pastor of Christ Community Church in Huntersville, N.C.;
- Bekah Stoneking, content editor for Explore the Bible: Kids at LifeWay Christian Resources in Nashville.
In written comments provided by the ERLC, Day said, “The challenge of our culture requires biblical wisdom and a prayerful, loving yet truthful approach to engaging people with the gospel. [The] ERLC helps the disciples of Christ to lovingly reach out to our world.”
Parrott said he is elated to serve on the council. “In a time when cultural confusion runs rampant, the ERLC is shining a bright light on biblical convictions such as life, sexuality and gender,” he said.
Council members receive training from the ERLC through events and conference calls. They provide counsel to commission staff and sometimes write for the ERLC’s website.
The entire list of council members is available at erlc.com/about/leadership-council.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Tom Strode is Washington bureau chief for Baptist Press, the Southern Baptist Convention’s news service.)