Charles Grant has been named executive director of African American relations and mobilization at the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) Executive Committee (EC). In a partnership jointly funded by the SBC EC and the North American Mission Board (NAMB), Grant will work to equip and mobilize African American churches, as well as to engage potential new churches.
In announcing the hire, Ronnie Floyd, president and CEO of the SBC EC, called Grant a “gifted, experienced and highly respected leader.”
“We believe God will use him in a great way,” Floyd said. “As a former pastor, church planter and ministry leader with a state convention, as well as with a national entity for over a decade, he has relationships with pastors and churches all over the country.
“We believe Charles will be used by the Lord to further our commitment to serving African American churches and continuing to mobilize them towards the Great Commission.”
Willie McLaurin, the SBC EC vice president for Great Commission Relations and Mobilization, called Grant “a gifted leader” who will help Southern Baptists increase the mobilization of African American churches.
“His high levels of character and competency will assist the entire network of Southern Baptist churches in their task of fulfilling the Great Commission,” McLaurin said. “For such a time as this, Charles is the right man who will lead our convention in serving Black churches. Charles has an authentic love for his wife, children and for the local church.
“I am extremely grateful that God has led Charles Grant to the SBC EC.”
Grant comes to the EC from LifeWay Christian Resources, where he has served since 2008 as a regional church partner. He also served concurrently with the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board since 2013 as a new church catalyst. Before coming to Nashville, he planted New Life Baptist Church in the Tampa area in 1997; he served as New Life’s senior pastor until 2007.
In accepting the position, Grant thanked God for guiding his life since his 1985 salvation at a Black Southern Baptist church.
“I am honored for the Lord’s preparation and strategic timing to serve the SBC,” Grant said. “I recognize that I stand on the shoulders of many faithful servants before me who have served churches passionately for the glory of God. I am most grateful to each of them.
“I am excited and look forward to serving alongside Dr. Ronnie Floyd as he leads the SBC Executive Committee, Dr. Willie McLaurin as he leads our Great Commission relations and mobilization efforts, and our entire team as we endeavor to serve churches for the purpose of fulfilling the Great Commission.”
NAMB President Kevin Ezell said Grant “will help keep Southern Baptists focused on the need for more evangelistic churches that will reflect the diversity in North America.”
“Charles knows Southern Baptists well, and he has a heart for reaching everyone with the gospel,” Ezell said. “As we take to heart the command from Jesus to disciple all nations, Charles brings the skills and background to help us do that.”
Grant holds a master of divinity from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary (now Gateway Seminary), a master of special education from the University of South Florida and a bachelor of science in business management from San Jose State University.
Grant’s wife Jackie is an administrative assistant for the Black Cultural Center at Vanderbilt University. The couple has three adult children.
Grant’s arrival marks the fulfillment of Floyd’s commitment to hire three full time associate directors to focus on diversity. Julio Arriola was named executive director of Hispanic relations and mobilization in November 2019, followed in December 2019 by Peter Yanes as executive director of Asian American relations and mobilization. Filling Grant’s position was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The three executive directors promote active participation at every level of Southern Baptist life among their respective demographics, as well as increased Cooperative Program engagement and involvement.
Referencing John 9:4, Grant said he desires “to partner with our various SBC entities and churches to help us respond to the … Vision 2025 call to reach every person for Jesus Christ in every town, every city, every state and every nation.”
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Diana Chandler is Baptist Press’ senior writer.)