NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Baptist Global Response CEO Jeff Palmer announced Feb. 20 he will be retiring from his current position in the coming months, prospectively timed for June 2020.
With prior overseas service experience, Palmer said his desire is to return to a more hands-on approach to ministry.
“When I say hands on, that means go back into primary ministry,” Palmer told Baptist Press. “I don’t know exactly what that means and what it will be, but we know God and know that He’s good and faithful and He’s leading in this so we’ll wind up in a great place wherever we’ll be.”
Although no specific plans are currently in place for Palmer’s future ministry, the transition is being approached with prayer and trust, Palmer said.
“We’re trusting the Lord and we don’t really have any idea what that will be, we’re open to wherever God leads,” Palmer said.
Paired with the announcement of his retirement, Palmer also confirmed that BGR will become part of Send Relief, the new cooperative effort between the International Mission Board and the North American Mission Board.
The partnership will streamline ministry surrounding disaster, compassion and crisis response.
“It really is for the first time this kind of coming together and looking at poverty, hunger, disasters, medical healthcare needs, not from an international perspective or just a domestic one,” Palmer said. “It’s kind of looking at it from one perspective and how do we rally the constituency.”
Southern Baptists are people who deeply care for others, Palmer noted. And the new “one-stop shop” cooperative effort has the potential to “rally more resources than we’ve ever had before. …
“It’s something that we dreamed of for years,” Palmer said. “Now it’s coming to fruition under the Send Relief umbrella. It really gives us a great potential as Southern Baptists to harness resources and efforts to have a more unified and comprehensive approach to addressing needs, making Christ know in word and deed to a lost and a needy world.”
Palmer said he will help guide the BGR team in this transition.
“One of the things we’re trying to do is make sure the transition for our teams and staff into this new organization will be a good one that will be seamless,” Palmer said. “We told our board and leadership in Southern Baptist life that we’ll stay as long as needed or as short as needed to help with that.”
Written by Baptist Press, the official news service of the Southern Baptist Convention.