October 6, 1999

The election of a new
executive director for the BGCT

___bluebull"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." (Proverbs 3:5-6)

___The process of electing a person to succeed me as executive director of the Executive Board began almost two years ago when in a special season of prayerful searching for God's will Bobbie and I became convinced that early in the year 2000 was the time for me to retire as executive director. I have rejoiced in the opportunity to serve the Lord and Texas
Executive Director
BGCT Executive Board

Baptists in this position. The main factor in the decision was a strong sense of divine oughtness; we believe that indeed God "shall direct thy paths."
___Contributing factors focused on the number of Executive Board staff members who would be retiring soon and the conviction that the next executive director should be the one to help select their replacements. Also, it is best to change leadership when things are going well, and the convention and its related entities are doing very well.
___The next step was for me to publicly share this decision. I believed the timing of this was important. My positive experience with Dr. James Landes in a period of orientation convinced me such a period was helpful. Allowing time for a search process also was vital. Announcing my retirement a year in advance of retirement made possible both adequate time for a search process and for orientation of the new executive director.
___I appreciated those who responded to my retirement announcement by asking that I not retire, but convinced of God's leadership, I pursued the plan. The process now moves toward completion with the election of Charles Wade and the provision of a time of orientation as executive director-elect beginning Nov. 15 and culminating in his assuming full responsibility for the office on Feb. 1.
___Charles Wade comes to this office with extensive experience in Texas Baptist life. He has pastored in Texas for over 20 years, participated actively in Tarrant Baptist Association, served as president of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, as well as in many other positions, and championed the causes of minorities and of bivocational pastors and staff members. His wife, Rosemary, has served effectively as pastor's wife, Sunday School teacher and church member and has been much involved with Woman's Missionary Union of Texas and the Ministers' Wives' Fellowship. Together, they provide a sterling example of Christian parenting and grandparenting.
___I will do all I can to make the coming months of transition as smooth and fruitful as possible and the years ahead under Charles Wade's leadership the best ever in the history of the Baptist General Convention of Texas. I trust all Texas Baptists will join me in this.
___And what should this involve? Certainly, we should pray for Charles and Rosemary Wade and for all involved in this transition. We should communicate with him our ideas, concerns and suggestions. We should give him an opportunity to set forth his vision and direction without prejudging what those will be. And we should all respond to the admonition of God's word and trust the Lord to direct our paths in the years to come as we move into a new decade, century, millennium and era of leadership.


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