JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — In a 44-4 vote, David Tolliver was elected by the Missouri Baptist Convention’s (MBC) executive board Feb. 3 as the MBC’s 12th executive director.
Tolliver, 58, has been interim director for nearly 22 months and has been MBC’s staff as an associate executive director since May 2005.
MBC President Bruce McCoy, pastor of Canaan Baptist Church in St. Louis, told staff that Tolliver has taken them on a monthly pilgrimage toward unity the last couple of years in the Baptist Building.
“What’s going to happen in this state is going to be whether or not we decide to get behind him,” McCoy said. “My job (as president) is to help make him look good, and I hope you’ll join me.”
The executive board vote during a special called meeting was the culmination of a nationwide search. Although other candidates were considered, Tolliver was ultimately recommended to succeed former executive director David Clippard, who was terminated in April 2007 on a 44-7 vote by the board.
In brief remarks to the staff at the end of a Feb. 4 chapel service, Tolliver’s language was direct and plain.
“I am as common as dirt and, folks, if it wasn’t for the team that we have here working together, we wouldn’t be where we were yesterday and where we are today,” Tolliver said. “I know that. Just continue to do what you’ve been doing.
“If we’ll all just serve Christ, we’ll be fine. God bless you. Alright, get to work!”
Tolliver and his wife of 36 years, Myra, a third-grade teacher, have two children, a daughter, Terra Jo, and a son, Adam, and two grandchildren.
He holds two degrees from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, a master of divinity and doctor of ministry. He also is a cum laude graduate of Dallas Baptist University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.