Southern Baptists Elect New American Missions Head

Southern Baptists have elected an Africa-born church planting missionary as the new head for their domestic missions agency.

Nearly a year after the former president stepped down, trustees of the North American Mission Board unanimously voted Wednesday to elect Geoff Hammond to the post.

"I am not here today because of anything I have done, but because of who He is," said Hammond, according to Baptist Press.

Hammond, senior associate director of the Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia state convention, was recommended on March 1 by the president search committee, which had been taking its time to find "God's man" to lead the mission agency.

NAMB had been without a president since April 2006 when Dr. Robert E. Reccord resigned amid critical reports questioning his leadership and the effectiveness of the agency. Southern Baptist leaders expressed support for Reccord, who had led NAMB since its founding nine years ago, and affirmed his integrity.

At that time, the Southern Baptist mission group created a response to come out stronger. And now in anticipation of the future, Hammond, son and grandson of missionaries, plans to make the agency "missionary-minded" in all they do. He further highlighted the need for them to see North America as a mission field.

"I want us to think like missionaries. I want us to have a missionary culture in this building. I pray that when you walk in this building, you will feel like this is a missionary place," he said, according to BP.

That was what Greg Faulls, chairman of the president search committee, was looking for during the search period.

"We had no pre-determined candidate," he said, reported BP. "We were looking for someone who was not just mission-minded but had the mind of a missionary. Someone who could think like a missiologist and could shape missions work at NAMB and with our state partners."

Hammond will officially take post in May.