Edgar Aponte, vice president for mobilization at the International Mission Board (IMB) and former director of Hispanic leadership development at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, will transition to the missions staff of Idlewild Baptist Church near Tampa, Fla., later this spring. Aponte will oversee local, national and international missions for the church, which is led by well-known Southern Baptist pastor Ken Whitten.
Baptist Press photo by Bill Bangham
“When we were looking for a global pastor to help lead us in God’s mission, we asked the Lord for a man who had a shepherd’s heart, an administrator’s mind and a servant’s hands,” Whitten told the Biblical Recorder. “God answered that prayer and led us to Dr. Edgar Aponte. His love for Jesus Christ is contagious and his love for the nations is compelling.”
Whitten applauded Aponte’s service at the IMB, describing it as “the greatest missions organization in the world.” He also said the addition of Aponte’s “gifts and callings” means “we just got better as a church, and Tampa, along with the nations, just got brighter.”
Aponte told the Recorder he hopes to “honor the Lord and model 1 Peter 5 as I seek to contribute to develop a missional culture that results in churches being planted and hundreds of missionaries sent to the nations.”
“I’m very excited to serve this sweet congregation and continue the strong partnership that the church has with Florida Baptists, [the North American Mission Board] and IMB,” he said. “I’m also excited to serve with and learn from faithful and godly pastors, like Ken Whitten.”