William “Bill” Townes, CFO of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) Executive Committee (EC), announced his retirement from the post effective Dec. 31. Townes and his wife DeAnna will relocate to Georgia to assist with care for their special needs grandson who faces significant life challenges due to his genetic conditions.
“I have had the honor of serving Southern Baptists for nearly 30 years both in my local church and denominationally, including the Georgia Baptist Mission Board, the International Mission Board and the North American Mission Board, before coming to work with the SBC Executive Committee nearly a decade ago,” Townes said in his resignation letter. “During that time, I have had the privilege to stand on the shoulders of faithful servants who came before me and work alongside dedicated men and women who love the Lord and love serving Southern Baptists.”
In his role as CFO, Townes’ duties included oversight of the financial operations of the EC and the organization of the SBC annual meeting.
“The loss of Bill Townes on our team is challenging for everyone here and also for the SBC,” said Ronnie Floyd, EC president and CEO. “He is a trusted, proven leader God used in so many ways – always doing his job with excellence, integrity and the highest competency. I will miss working with him as he has become a dear friend and partner in ministry to me. Please pray for Bill as he transitions to giving his focus on his calling to his family, but also pray for the Executive Committee as we seek the Lord for who God is preparing to assist us with this great need in our Convention.”
Townes joined the EC in December 2010 and was named vice president for convention finance in February 2011. During his time with the EC, Townes has been the lead innovator for the SBC Annual Meeting. He led the expansion of the exhibitor policy resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings for the EC. He launched an app for the event, negotiated new contracts with host cities, and oversaw the development of updated technology used at the event.
He brought that same innovation to the workplace with new travel management, human resources and expense reporting systems, which came online in the past year. Townes also provided counsel to several SBC entities and state CFOs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and the related time of financial uncertainty.
Born in the Central African Republic to missionary parents, Townes is a licensed Certified Public Accountant and an ordained Baptist minister. Prior to his time with the EC, he served as an interim pastor, college professor and camp and conference center director.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Jonathan Howe is vice president for communications at the SBC Executive Committee.)