The Georgia Baptist Mission Board is one of the largest state conventions ranking second or third by several measures. The GBMB will likely be the second largest contributor to the SBC Cooperative Program allocation budget this year. Our CEO is retiring after 25 years and a new one has been nominated.
Oddly, the news reports omit ages, not that such is the most critical factor but it is a factor in these changes. The retiring CEO is in his early 70s. Hammond is 56 or so. It’s not quite a generation change but close to it.
The most notable thing about him is that he is a graduate of Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary, the splendid Southern Baptist seminary that is not one of our Cooperative Program funded six and my alma mater. Time was that a pastor couldn’t get a resume before a church if the brother’s seminary was MABTS. Now an alumnus is nominated to be leader of one of our largest state conventions. If anything from Gray Allison, the MABTS founder and longtime president, rubbed off on Thomas Hammond then Georgia Baptists are in the best of hands.
There are a number of challenges afoot for the GBMB not the least of which is to demonstrate that the GBMB is relevant to the churches which number almost 3,400.
I have been a Georgia Baptist pastor and semi-retired pastor for the past two decades. Thomas Hammond has my prayers and goodwill for his challenging task.
[The photo is from the Christian Index.]