Executive Board leaders begin looking at short-term leader possibility


DALLAS – BGCT Executive Board leaders are examining options for short-term leadership of the convention’s staff in the likely event the next convention executive director will not be on the job before the retirement of current BGCT Executive Director Charles Wade.

Ken Hugghins, chairman of the BGCT Executive Director Search Committee, noted that even if a nominee is brought to the Executive Board in early January and approved, that person most likely would not start until mid-February. The candidate would need to give at least a 2-week notice where he or she currently works and take another couple weeks to relocate, creating at least a month-long gap between being voted on and assuming the new position.

Wade is set to retire Jan. 31. Assuming the next executive director starts in mid-February, there will be at least a two-week window where the convention would not have a chief executive officer or chief operating officer. BGCT Chief Financial Officer David Nabors would be the only executive leader remaining on the convention’s staff.

John Petty, chairman of the BGCT Executive Board, said the board will vote on a short-term leader for the convention’s staff if the next executive director cannot start before Wade retires. He indicated there are qualified candidates who could fill this short-term role. That person would not be someone who currently works on the convention staff.

“We’re very confident we can address that situation without any major gaps in leadership,” he said.

Hugghins indicated the search committee is making progress, having narrowed the field to fewer than nine candidates. It is wrapping up the first round of candidate interviews and has interviewed one candidate twice.

Jerry Carlisle, pastor of First Baptist Church in Plano, has resigned from the search committee and allowed his name to be considered for the executive director position, becoming the first candidate whose name has been made openly public.

In a letter to his congregation, Carlisle indicated search committee members asked him to submit his resume, which he reluctantly did after praying about the situation. In order to avoid a conflict of interest, Carlisle resigned from the search committee.

“[God] made it clear that I needed to make myself available for the committee’s consideration, so I have,” Carlisle wrote. “I do not know what the committee will conclude. Regardless, I do not know what God is calling me to do. I only know I want to obey Him.” 

Carlisle’s resignation does not mean he will be the next executive director, Hugghins said. Carlisle has been interviewed by the committee.

“We are being led a step at a time,” Hugghins said. “It’s not a conclusion, but a step. We’re not always sure how the next step is connected to the step before or how it is connected to the next step. But we are sure we are being led.”

The search committee will nominate an executive director candidate to the Executive Board, which will then vote on that person.

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7 Responses to “Executive Board leaders begin looking at short-term leader possibility”

  1. BT Says:

    Dear Executive Board,
    Please, take your time. We can go a little while with an empty chair. Let’s not make time our motivation. The person God leads us to may not need to give a two-weeks notice. Keep praying. Others are praying. A few weeks without a leader might be in the time table. Pretend he is on vacation. Just prayerfully keep seeking.

  2. spiritualsamurai Says:

    Even a intentional interim for 9 months to a year would not be bad. Just please do not settle for anyone. Texas Baptists need someone of the stature of Paul Powell, Dick Maples, or even Bill Pinson. The committee is doing a great job.

  3. Lee Says:

    I think a transitional period under an interim leader would be a good thing for the BGCT. It would certainly take the pressure off the search committee, and it opens the door for someone to lay some groundwork for the new occupant of the office.

    Please do not use this position as a means of rewarding one of the prominent soldiers in the battle to keep the BGCT free from Fundamentalism, or as the natural ascension to the throne for someone who has a big Baptist pedigree and has networked their way to prominence. We need a leader with a realistic view of what a state convention will look like down the road, what churches will look like down the road, and how to bring those elements together in cooperation because “together we can do more.” Right now, we need someone who is part of all of us “together.”

  4. Tim Dahl Says:

    I’m all for the idea of an interim. The committee has well over 5000 churches to look through. If they got it done quickly, I would be disheartened.

    Tim Dahl

  5. VB Says:

    It seems to me that without a little “break” with an individual that no one is “mad” at…the new person will just end up carrying Dr Wade’s burdens.

  6. Tim Dahl Says:

    “[God] made it clear that I needed to make myself available for the committee’s consideration, so I have,” Carlisle wrote.

    This is a little bit worrying to me. I’m sure that Pastor Carlisle is a great guy. I know that FBC Plano is a great church. It just seems to make me a little uncomfortable. I’m sure this says much more about me than it does about him.

    Tim Dahl

  7. BWC Says:


    Could you please explain why Dr. Jerry Carlisle’s comments would make you uncomfortable? He felt God was asking him to be obedient and in response to that he made himself available for the committee’s consideration. Are you implying something?


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