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NAMB trustees to consider Kevin Ezell Sept. 14
compiled wire reports
September 01, 2010
4 MIN READ TIME

NAMB trustees to consider Kevin Ezell Sept. 14

NAMB trustees to consider Kevin Ezell Sept. 14
compiled wire reports
September 01, 2010

ALPHARETTA, Ga. — A special

meeting of the North American Mission Board’s (NAMB) trustees has been called

for Sept. 14 to consider the nomination of Louisville pastor Kevin Ezell as

next NAMB president.

While a NAMB news release Aug. 31 announcing the special meeting did not name

Ezell, search committee chairman Ted Traylor told the Florida Baptist Witness

the nominee was Ezell, pastor of Highview Baptist Church and immediate past

president of the Southern Baptist Pastors’ Conference.

In the first of two email letters from NAMB board chair Tim Dowdy to trustees

and NAMB staff, Traylor said,

“I am delighted to report to you that our search team has found God’s man to be

nominated as the next president of NAMB. Our team has prayerfully considered

several impressive candidates.”

BP file photo

Kevin Ezell

In the letter Dowdy said he would release

details on the candidate to NAMB’s entire trustee board in a few days. That

timetable accelerated when word began to leak that Ezell was the nominee. Dowdy

sent a second letter to trustees with the information and Traylor gave the

Witness a copy.

Dowdy told trustees in his letter that Ezell, 48, is a “gifted

preacher and teacher and a faithful ambassador of the Lord with a passion for

reaching the lost and touching the world for Jesus Christ. His own family

embodies this commitment as Kevin and his wife of almost 25 years, Lynette,

have three natural children and three adopted children from three different

countries: Ethiopia, China, and the Philippines.”

Ezell has led his current

church to grow to 6,000 members, meeting on seven campuses. Dowdy said the

church’s investment in missions through “Southern Baptist causes” reached $1.2

million in 2009.

Ezell has held previous pastorates in Illinois, Tennessee and

Texas, all of which experienced significant growth, according to Dowdy as

quoted in the Florida Baptist Witness.

Traylor, senior pastor of Olive Baptist

Church in Pensacola, called Ezell “a warm, personable leader who can make

difficult choices in leading an organization to be laser-focused on the mission

at hand.”

Ezell’s nomination drew praise from current SBC President Bryant

Wright, who received the news “with great joy and excitement.”

Wright urged

prayer for Ezell “as God prepares him for this new calling of key leadership

for Southern Baptists as we seek to fulfill Christ’s Great Commission.”

Danny

Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest and

David Dockery, president of Union University in Jackson, Tenn., also were quoted

in the letter as references who supported Ezell’s nomination.

“This is a great

day for NAMB. It is a great day for the SBC,” said Akin, who was a member of

Highview for almost eight years of Ezell’s tenure as pastor.

Dowdy told fellow

trustees more information about Ezell will be provided before the Sept. 14

meeting.

The Florida Baptist Witness reported that Ezell is a native of

Paducah, Ky., and was born in Germany during his father’s service in the U.S.

Air Force. Ezell has served on the board of trustees of Midwestern Baptist

Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Mo., including as its chairman, and

currently serves on the Advisory Board of Boyce College, the undergraduate

school of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, as well as Union’s Board of Reference.

He earned a bachelor of science degree from Union University, a master of

divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a doctor of

ministry degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

The NAMB presidency

was vacated in August 2009 when former president Geoff Hammond resigned under

pressure from trustees.

Richard Harris, a NAMB executive with 30 years of

experience with the agency and its predecessor entity, the Home Mission Board,

has served as acting and interim president since Hammond’s resignation.

In

addition to Traylor, members of the search committee are Doug Dieterly,

executive pastor, Plymouth Baptist Church, Plymouth, Ind.; Larry Gipson, pastor

of First Baptist Church, Oneonta, Ala.; Chuck Herring, pastor of Collierville

First Baptist Church in Collierville, Tenn.; Lisa Knutsen, a member of Green

Valley Baptist Church in Henderson, Nev.; Ryan Palmer, pastor, Seventh Metro

Church, Baltimore, Md.; and Tim Patterson, pastor of Hillcrest Baptist Church,

Jacksonville, and immediate past NAMB trustee chairman. As chairman of NAMB’s

trustee board, Tim Dowdy, serves as an ex officio member of the search

committee.

(EDITOR’S NOTE — Story compiled from the Florida Baptist Witness, staff

reporting and a NAMB news release.)