Everett to be nominated as BGCT executive director

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DALLAS – The Baptist General Convention of Texas Executive Director Search Committee will nominate Randel Everett to be the convention’s next executive director.The former president of the John Leland Center for Theological Studies in Arlington, Va., and senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Newport News, Va., will be nominated as the next BGCT executive director during the convention’s next regular executive board meeting Feb. 25-26 in Dallas.

Current BGCT Executive Director Charles Wade is set to retire Jan. 31. William Jan Daehnert already is serving as interim BGCT executive director.

Ken Hugghins, chairman of the search committee, said Everett met the criteria of an executive director who could lead the convention in this crucial time in which Texas Baptists appear segmented and financial issues recently caused the convention to lay off 29 people.

“As the committee listened to Texas Baptists and talked with excellent leaders and candidates across our state, a description of the kind of leader Texas needs emerged,” Hugghins said. “Randel Everett matches that description and more.  He will communicate across the spectrum of Texas Baptists, the generations of Texas Baptists, the many affinity groups of Texas Baptists and focus the kingdom commitment of Texas Baptist churches, institutions, and convention servants.”

Under Everett’s leadership, the Leland Center was accredited by the Association of Theological Schools and grew to serve about 200 students in more than 12 countries.

Prior to serving at the Leland Center and First Baptist Church, Everett, 56, was pastor of Columbia Baptist Church in Falls Church, Va. for five years. The congregation is one of the largest Baptist churches in the Washington, D.C. area with more than 3,000 members. It regularly is one of the top giving churches to the Baptist General Association of Virginia. It started five churches that serve different non-English speaking groups.

Everett, who grew up in Fort Worth, also served as senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Pensacola, Fla., 1992-1996. The congregation of more than 5,000 members became involved in the Baptist World Alliance under his leadership.

Everett was pastor of First Baptist Church in Benton, Ark., 1984-1988.

Everett has pastored three Texas Baptist churches – University Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Inglewood Baptist Church in Grand Prairie and First Baptist Church in Gonzales. He also served as assistant minister of missions at First Baptist Church in Dallas.                        

Everett earned a doctoral degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, a master’s degree from Southwestern Seminary and a bachelor’s degree from Ouachita Baptist University. He also holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Richmond.

The executive director nominee has extensive denominational experience, having served in Baptist associations, state conventions and with the Baptist World Alliance. He was chairman of the BWA’s education and evangelism commission 2000-2005 and served in several other capacities with the BWA.

He was moderator of Peninsula Baptist Association, a member of the National Ministry Partners Study Committee for the Baptist General Association of Virginia, a member of the Virginia association’s budget committee, a trustee at Florida Baptist College and president of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention Executive Board.        

Everett served as a member of the BGCT Executive Board 1978-1979.

He has been a guest chaplain for the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, a teacher at the Pentagon Bible study. He also has led more than 30 evangelism conferences.

9 Responses to “Everett to be nominated as BGCT executive director”

  1. David Lowrie Says:

    A New Day dawns over our convention. Personally I know very little about Dr. Everett but what I do know encourages me. I am especially impressed with his willingness to take on this “God-sized” task.

    Restoring trust will be Job One for Dr. Everett. Trust is a two way street. I pray we will start the journey by believing in him, and giving him the opportunity to lead us into a bright future.

    We have prayed for God to send us a leader. He is here. It is time for us to get behind him and get to work.

    David Lowrie
    Canyon

  2. Andy Says:

    David,
    He’s not here until the Executive Board elects him. Let’s pray for them as they seek discernment!

  3. David Says:

    My preference still: Someone with much large convention experience, even if he has no large church experience.

    The BGCT is a $40 million evangelical Christian non-profit organization with a huge, busy, well-organized, and well-qualified staff already moving forward into the state and world with affiliating churches for Christ. To lead such a complicated organization without missing any beats unnecessarily in times like these requires, in my opinion, an individual with much corresponding experience.

    I appreciate Dr. Everett’s ministry, and have referenced his family’s Albania experiences several times in the past as a “be ready when God is calls you” thing (link here: http://www.baptiststandard.com/1999/9_1/pages/prayed.html), but still prefer an experienced convention leader. For the sake of the BGCT, Texas, and now.

  4. David Says:

    CORRECTION:

    “. . . is calling you . . .”

  5. David Lowrie Says:

    Andy,

    You are absolute right, but the reality is he is highly likely to be elected by the Executive Board.

    Thanks for your input.

    David Lowrie

  6. wackypreacher Says:

    David Lowrie,
    I too am praying that God will use Dr. Everett in a very difficult task. What little research I have done on the guy is encouraging. I suppose some want someone with “name” recognition. That doesn’t matter so long as he/she feels called.

    I think the committee did a fantastic job of seeking input from the state and striving in the best way possible to apply what they heard to the search.

    Ken Hugghins deserves a round of hearty applause for striving to herd the “cats” into a small corral. Of course some refuse to be herding anywhere. He has done a thankless job and gets my heartfelt applause.
    Bob Cheatheam

  7. Lee Says:

    I’m not surprised that the reaction to the choice has been mixed, though I do think the committee needs to be thanked for the time they spent in prayer, and in listening to those Texas Baptists who came to the listening sessions. It would be next to impossible to come up with a consensus candidate for a position like this, particularly with the situation in the BGCT being what it is, and the after effects of Valleygate still lingering.

    Should the executive board opt to follow the recommendation of the search committee, the better choice, among many we could make, would be to give Dr Everett both the benefit of the doubt, and the chance to have a fair shot at suceeding in this position. Under normal circumstances, that wouldn’t be easy, and in this case, with the budget shortfalls and the continued tension created by churches either leaving for the rival convention, or cutting their giving, it will be even more difficult. He cannot do it alone, nor should it be expected that his efforts alone will heal the rift in the convention, solve the financial problems and prepare the BGCT to meet the future. We can pray, and regardless of how we feel, we can contribute to the effort to move forward.

    My perspective at this point comes from observing his resume. If the opportunity presents itself, I intend to get to know him better, if not personally, at least through his work.

  8. David Says:

    The person God identifies as His man for the position will have no better supporter than me–though my preference still is for the type of candidate described above and for the reasons mentioned.

    If Dr. Everett is God’s man for the job, he’ll have a great ministry with the Lord’s help and the cooperation of all of us.

    P.S. I knew the convention has had problems during the past 18 months; I didn’t know we have a rift, at least as I would define the word.

  9. alli Says:

    Very nice article. I definitely appreciate this site.
    Keep it up!

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