Georgia Baptist Mission Board Executive Director J. Robert White Announces Plans to Retire

Georgia Baptist Mission Board Executive Director J. Robert White signaled his intention to retire after more than 25 years in the position in a letter he read to the GBMB executive committee today (March 13).

White, 71, announced his retirement would become effective Dec. 31, 2018, when he has completed 26 years as the mission board’s executive director.

Although White grew up in Florida and Alabama, he had served as pastor of Tabernacle Baptist Church in Carrollton, Ga., in the 1970s and early 1980s before serving 11 years as pastor of First Baptist Church in Paducah, Ky.

When the search team from the Georgia Baptist Convention was seeking to fill the vacancy left by the retirement of Executive Director James N. Griffith, they recalled White’s ministry in Carrollton and expressed an interest in him becoming Griffith’s successor.

White’s productive ministry in Paducah and the fact that a previous candidate for the Georgia leadership role declined the position on a 66 percent favorable vote didn’t provide inspiration for the Kentucky pastor to seriously consider the position.

However, God’s providence eventually overruled the challenging circumstances and White allowed his name to be submitted to the GBMB executive committee, which gave him a unanimous vote.

“Preliminary to our decision to accept your invitation,” White recounted in his letter, “I experienced a great struggle. I never imagined that God would call me out of the pastorate to enter ministry through a denominational position, but the call could not have been more clear. I knew that this was God’s will and that assurance has been multiplied time and time again through these years.”

During the past 25 years under White’s leadership, Georgia Baptist churches have baptized 783,740 new believers and given more than $2.276 billion to missions.

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Source: Baptist Press