Diversity of SBC on display in 2021 Committee on Committees

By: Scott Barkley & Jonathan Howe

sbc annual meeting

Baptist Press

NASHVILLE (BP) – Southern Baptist Convention President J.D. Greear has announced the 68 members of the Committee on Committees that will meet prior to the SBC Annual Meeting in Nashville June 15-16.

Greear, pastor of The Summit Church in Durham, N.C., has named Meredith Cook, a member of Neartown Church in Houston, as chair of this year’s Committee on Committees. Steven Wade, lead pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Youngsville, N.C., will serve as vice chair.

“I have been aware of Meredith Cook’s great leadership for many years,” Greear said in a statement.

“Since a young age, Meredith Cook has served Southern Baptists faithfully, has strong ties to associational life, and has been a part of different church plants. This, along with Steven Wade’s great experience and steadfast commitment to God’s Word and His people, will bring great leadership of the Committee on Committees to keep the Gospel above all.”

Cook said she was, “grateful for and humbled by the opportunity to serve as the chair of the Committee on Committees this year.

“I am looking forward to working with Dr. Wade and the rest of the committee on the task ahead of us. Please pray with us as we prepare for this year’s annual meeting, that we would seek the Lord’s will, be unified in our work, and keep the gospel above all as we serve.”

Wade said he believes the next years are perhaps “some of the most significant years Great Commissions Baptists have had for a few decades.”

“As I look at the Committee that President Greear has put together – its commitment to the Great Commission, its representative nature, its diversity,” Wade said, “I am humbled and grateful to be part of such a significant group that will shape the coming days.”

Cook will lead the most diverse slate of committee members ever appointed by an SBC president.

The 2021 Committee on Committees includes 39 women and 29 men and is majority non-white – 14 members are African American, 12 are Asian and nine are Hispanic. Some committee members come from churches that average nearly 700 in weekly worship, while 40 members attend churches averaging fewer than 250 in weekly worship.

The members’ churches average giving 6 percent through the Cooperative Program and average 25 baptisms per year.

“I am grateful for this diverse group and their willingness to be a part of the process, many of them serving for the first time,” Greear said. “They are people who want to unify around the Gospel above all and who believe we must be a convention that reflects the coming Kingdom while we engage the next generation on mission. They truly are Great Commission Baptists.”

Committee members, listed by state are:

ALABAMA: Demetrus Coleman, Redemption, Saraland; Salvatore Blanco, Highland Baptist, Florence

ALASKA: Jeff Ling, First Baptist, North Pole; Val Natcher, Filipino Bible, Anchorage

ARIZONA: Joy Longaza, Valley Life Tramonto, Phoenix; Rosalva Good, North Phoenix Baptist, Phoenix

ARKANSAS: Ally Freeman, Grand Avenue Baptist, Fort Smith;Brenda Herring, Second Baptist, Conway

CALIFORNIA: Candace (C.J.) Boo, Good Community, Torrance; Ghason Al-Nimri, Valley Baptist, Bakersfield

COLORADO: Cayla Sherfey, The Oaks, Denver; Libby Phillips, Journey Point, Denver

FLORIDA: Rachel Phillips, Hibernia Baptist, Fleming Island; Yerusha Bunag, Idlewild Baptist, Lutz

GEORGIA: Laura Turner, Image, Marietta; Jimmie Samuels, First Baptist, Douglasville

HAWAII-PACIFIC: Vicky Kawamae, Cornerstone Fellowship, Mililani;James McElrath, Olivet Baptist, Honolulu

ILLINOIS: Tamara Haymon, Love Fellowship Baptist, Romeoville;Tauji VanPelt, Hillcrest Baptist, Country Club Hills

INDIANA: Chase Sears, Oak Park Baptist, Jeffersonville;Hre Mang, Falam Christian, Indianapolis

KANSAS/NEBRASKA: Tracy McElhattan, Blue Valley Baptist, Overland Park (Kan.);Rodney Bartlett, River Community, Wichita (Kan.)

KENTUCKY: Jason Lowe, First Baptist, Pikeville;Nathan Garth, Sojourn Church Midtown, Lousiville

LOUISIANA: Robin Purdy, First Baptist, Livingston; Criseida Gomez, Iglesia Bautista Hispana LaVina, Kenner

MARYLAND/DELAWARE/DC: Chul Yoo, Christ Community, Ashton (Md.);Jacki Anderson, Colonial Baptist, Randallstown (Md.)

MICHIGAN: Marisa Roberson, Heart and Soul Community, Detroit; Stan Parker, Faith Fellowship Baptist, Lansing

MISSISSIPPI: Shelbi Lamb, First Baptist, Greenwood; Micah Carter, First Baptist, Ripley

MISSOURI: Heather Nelson, Soma Community, Jefferson City; Michael Byrd, Faith Community Bible, St. Louis

NEVADA: Nathan Naoumi, Shadow Hills, Las Vegas; Gene Staples, Hope, Las Vegas

NEW ENGLAND: Ed Kao, Antioch Baptist, Cambridge (Mass.);Regina Robinson, Charles River, Boston (Mass.)

NEW MEXICO: Rebecca Henslee, Mayhill Baptist, Mayhill; Stephanie Castillo, Grace Hill, Farmington

NEW YORK: Ramny Perez, Fordham Community, The Bronx; Beverly Flannery, First Baptist, Orchard Park

NORTH CAROLINA: Steven Wade, Faith Baptist, Youngsville; Marci Parrott, Christ Community, Huntersville

NORTHWESTPaige Wieser, Resonate, Pullman (Wash.);Kim Arthur, The Hallows, Seattle (Wash.)

OHIO: Hannah Surh, Chroma, Columbus; Averee Fields, Life Point, Lewis Center

OKLAHOMA: Pablo Villa, Southern Hills Baptist, Oklahoma City;Jill Thomas, New Hope Baptist, Shawnee

PENNSYLVANIA/SOUTH JERSEY: Alva Manao, Bible Church International, Philadelphia (Pa.);Robert Trice, One Hope, Absecon (N.J.)

SOUTH CAROLINA: Amber Mathis, The Church at Cherrydale, Greenville;Shana Sands, Kingdom Life, Simpsonville

TENNESSEE: Pam Earls, Third Baptist, Murfreesboro; Maria San Jose Vincente, Belle Aire Baptist, Murfreesboro

TEXAS: Meredith Cook, Neartown, Houston; Averi LaMelle, Champion Forest Baptist, Houston

UTAH/IDAHO: Jared Jenkins, Risen Life, Salt Lake City (Utah); Kaylyn Wagner, Redemption, South Ogden (Utah)

VIRGINIA: Chip Perkins, Staples Mill Road Baptist, Glen Allen; Derek Futrell, Parkway Baptist, Moseley

WEST VIRGINIA: Tim Turner, Good Shepherd Baptist, Scott Depot; Ryan Navy, River Valley, Huntington

WYOMING: Reuben Marlow, Big Horn Baptist, Buffalo; Rachel Reekers, First Southern Baptist, Powell

Greear made the announcement in accordance with SBC Bylaw 19, which calls for providing notice of appointees in advance of that year’s convention. The Committee on Committees consists of two members from each of the 34 states and regions qualified for representation on the boards of SBC entities. The primary function of the Committee on Committees is to nominate members of the Committee on Nominations. In turn, the Committee on Nominations nominates trustees and members of standing committees.

Committee on Resolutions addition

Greear also announced the addition of Adron Robinson, pastor of Hillcrest Baptist in Country Club Hills, Ill., to the 2021 Committee on Resolutions. Robinson fills a seat vacated by Angela Suh Um, who was previously announced as vice chair for the 2021 committee and is now unable to serve. Um served on the 2019 committee in Birmingham.

Robinson, who also served on the committee at the 2019 SBC Annual Meeting in Birmingham, meets a requirement set forth in SBC Bylaw 20 that the committee must include at least two members who served during the previous annual meeting. Texas pastor Jared Wellman, a 2021 committee member, also served in 2019.

Robinson is one of four SBC Executive Committee members on the Committee on Resolutions. The others are Wellman, Andrew Hunt (Ind.) and Robin Hari (Tenn.).

With Um’s departure from the committee, Nathan Finn, provost and dean of the faculty at North Greenville University in Tigerville, S.C., and member of Mountain Creek Baptist Church, will serve as vice chairman of the 2021 Committee on Resolutions.

This article was written by Scott Barkley and Jonathan Howe. It was originally published at baptistpress.com.

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