New CBF Executive Coordinator

 
January 16, 2019

Baxley unanimously selected to lead CBF

By Aaron Weaver and Jeff Huett

DECATUR, Ga.— The Governing Board voted unanimously Jan. 15 to elect a pastor of “theologically profound leadership,” the Rev. Dr. Paul Baxley, as the fourth executive coordinator of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.

Baxley, who has served since 2010 as senior minister of First Baptist Church, Athens, Ga., was selected based upon the unanimous recommendation of the 11-member Executive Coordinator Search Committee formed in July 2018.

Courtney Allen, Executive Coordinator Search Committee member and pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Richmond, Va., expressed her excitement for Baxley’s selection.

“Paul exhibits theologically profound leadership, which the Fellowship, the church and our world require in these tectonic plate-shifting days,” Allen said. “Paul believes there is an urgent need for a Baptist witness the Fellowship is uniquely qualified to provide, and I could not agree more. Through his pastoral instincts, organizational leadership capacities, deep theological commitments, and belief in the church as our best hope, Paul Baxley will lead the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship into its next chapter.

A native of Winston-Salem, N.C., Baxley has held pastorates and ministry positions in Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia and is a former member of the CBF Governing Board. He succeeds Suzii Paynter, who became the third executive coordinator of CBF in March 2013 and announced in July 2018 plans to transition her leadership of the 27-year-old denomi-network. Other previous executive coordinators include Daniel Vestal (1996-2012) and Cecil Sherman (1992-1996). During his two-terms on the CBF Governing Board from 2013-2017, Baxley chaired the Personnel Committee as well as the Global Mission Structure and Staffing Committee, an ad hoc body that worked for 18 months to develop a comprehensive plan for Global Missions committed to the long-term presence of CBF field personnel around the world.

Baxley also provided leadership as member of the ad-hoc committee of the Illumination Project, an 18-month effort to seek ways to model unity through cooperation on matters of human sexuality in the Fellowship. Additionally, he served on the CBF Coordinating Council, the Fellowship’s earlier governance body, from 2009-2010 and chaired the Engaging Missionally Collaborative Team.

He has been a leader to two CBF state organizations as chair of the New Day Task Force of CBF of North Carolina (2006-2009) and as a coordinating council member of CBF of Georgia (2012-2015) where he chaired the missions committee and was moderator.

Baxley is a graduate of Wake Forest University (Bachelor of Arts – Religion, 1991), Duke Divinity School (Master of Theological Studies, 1996) and Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond (Doctor of Ministry, 2003).

Jeff Roberts, chair of the Executive Coordinator Search Committee and senior pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Raleigh, N.C., celebrated the committee’s unanimous recommendation and shared reflections on its search process.

“As part of this process, I have been able to spend time with very talented individuals who are devoted to following Jesus and committed to our CBF fellowship,” Roberts said. “Our committee quickly discovered that our love for CBF far outweighed any of our differences. We also were reminded of how many talented individuals there are in CBF life. We were impressed with our candidates and this gave us great confidence not only in this process but for the future of our Fellowship. I am grateful for this experience and am looking forward to what God is doing in our lives together. I celebrate that our committee is unanimous in our recommendation of Dr. Paul Baxley as our next Executive Coordinator.”

CBF Moderator Gary Dollar congratulated the Executive Coordinator Search Committee and Governing Board on their selection of Baxley.

“The Search Committee and Board have done a wonderful job in selecting Paul to serve as our next Executive Coordinator,” Dollar said. Paul is a deeply committed Christian and a lifelong Baptist. He loves the church and the way it is expressed through the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. I am convinced that Paul will lead all of us in CBF to new levels of service in the name of Christ.”

In accepting the call to serve as CBF Executive Coordinator, Baxley shared his optimism for the future of CBF and emphasized the central role of congregations in this future.

“I accept the call of the Governing Board and this calling from God, with the opportunities and challenges that I know they both hold,” Baxley said. “I’m aware of all the research about the state of congregations and denominations in the Western world. I’m aware that every day won’t be easy and that every question won’t be soft. But I’m not afraid. Instead, I’m confident because I have this conviction, the God who raised Jesus from the dead and who has carried His people through 2,000 years of challenge and adversity, much of it our own making, is still in the business of drawing the world to divine love through us.

“Congregations are at the center of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, and CBF exists to bless and serve churches. I’m eager to see what kind of powerful collaborations can emerge between CBF pastors, lay leaders, leaders of our partner ministries and our state and regional coordinators. Imagine the power that could come from the best kind of convening and collaboration, where we see that CBF’s future is not held by whoever is the Executive Coordinator, but our life, work and witness together. My experience as a pastor in CBF congregations has taught me that when we open ourselves to serve and lead together, God does incredible work.”

Outgoing CBF Executive Coordinator Suzii Paynter welcomed the selection of Baxley as her successor.

“Paul Baxley has already been an exemplary leader for CBF. I welcome him into the Executive Coordinator’s role with enthusiasm and certain hope for the future,” Paynter said. “God has shown faithfulness to CBF by preparing the way in every era and through each transition and so it is with Paul.

“As a pastor, he has the respect and admiration of generations across CBF life. His wisdom and energy are gifts that he generously contributes in every endeavor. Personally, he is a true friend and warmly regarded colleague. One keystone of his leadership is building consensus and participation by charting a purposeful course worthy of engagement. He has asked big questions and sought high callings. His love for the church, his Lord, and the people of the world have equipped him with God’s gifts and God’s blessing to be the best-ever Executive Coordinator of CBF.”

Former CBF Executive Coordinator Daniel Vestal praised Baxley as “a person of impeccable integrity and deep Christian conviction.”

“Paul’s wisdom and spiritual discernment is equaled by his energy and maturity. He has demonstrated his love for CBF through the years, and he is poised to lead us with vision and passion. I am looking forward to our future together.”

Baxley previously was senior minister of The First Baptist Church of Henderson, N.C. (2004-2010), where he served as associate minister from 1992-1999. His ministry journey also includes four years of service at Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, where he directed the Lilly Grant Proposal Team from 2001-2002 and later served as director of Congregational Ministries and Vocational Awareness for the CBF partner school from 2002-2004.

Other ministerial roles at CBF churches include serving as interim pastor at Wingate Baptist Church in Wingate, N.C. (2000-2001) and interim minister of youth and college students at First Baptist Church, Winston, Salem, N.C. Additionally, Baxley was campus minister and adjunct instructor in Religion at Wingate University in Wingate, N.C. (1999-2002).

Baxley has also held a variety of leadership roles with CBF partner organizations including the Board of Visitors of Mercer University’s McAfee School of Theology (member, 2012-2018 and chair, 2015-2016); Board of Directors of the Baptist House of Studies of Duke Divinity School (member, 2006-2012; chair, 2009-2010); and the Board of Directors of the Center for Congregational Health (member, 2004-2010; chair, 2009). In 2012, Baxley gave the Lawrence Hoover Lectures at Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond and delivered a sermon titled “Preaching as Participation” at the Mercer Preaching Consultation.

A respected faith leader in his local community of Athens, Baxley currently is a member of the Board of Directors of the Interfaith Hospitality Network of Athens and chairs the steering committee of the Interfaith Clergy Partnership of Greater Athens.

Baxley was ordained to gospel ministry in 1993 at his home church of First Baptist Church on Fifth in Winston-Salem, N.C. Baxley and his wife, Jennifer, a licensed physical therapist, have four children: Olivia (age 17), Maria (age 11) and twins Caroline and Matthew (ages 8).

Longtime CBF staff leader Bo Prosser described Baxley as “uniquely qualified to lead CBF into our next chapter.”

“He is pastor, scholar and congregational leader. He knows this Fellowship, has helped shape this infrastructure, and will unify us around the major challenges of congregational ministries and the global mission enterprise,” Prosser said.

Search committee member Juan Garcia, pastor of Primera Iglesia Bautista, Newport News, Va., said Baxley is a “pastor at heart who loves the church, loves missions and loves immigrants.”

“He is a leader who understands that God does his missional work through the local church and through immigrants who God sends our way in cooperation with CBF,” Garcia added.

Mack Dennis, pastor of First Baptist Church, Asheville, N.C., noted Baxley’s “extraordinary gifts as a Baptist pastor.”

“He is one of the most compelling preachers of our time—a confessional disciple with a penetrating theological mind and deeply compassionate heart,” Dennis said.

Duke Divinity School Dean Greg Jones called Baxley’s appointment a “wonderful and hope-filled sign for the future”

“He is a gifted pastor, a visionary leader, and he sees the need and the opportunity for new and re-newed commitment to theological education and equipping transformational Christian leaders,” Jones said.

Search committee member Jackie Baugh Moore, vice president of the Eula Mae and John Baugh Foundation, cited Baxley’s hope, creativity, energy, spiritual resilience and strong faith in her endorsement and asked Cooperative Baptists to pray for the Baxley family.

“Paul’s wisdom, theological maturity and knowledge coupled with his desire to listen and love people will help him guide CBF through this next chapter in our narrative,” said Baugh Moore. “His leadership style reflects deep faith and authenticity. Paul is dedicated to equipping and strengthening theological education, mission work, the church, partner organizations and all of us involved in the life of CBF. Please join me in committing to pray for Paul, his family and CBF as we all seek to follow our God-given mission.”
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Words of Endorsement for Paul Baxley

 

I am incredibly excited that Paul Baxley will serve as the next Executive Coordinator of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. Paul exhibits theologically profound leadership, which the Fellowship, the Church, and our world require in these tectonic plate-shifting days. Paul believes there is an urgent need for a Baptist witness the Fellowship is uniquely qualified to provide, and I could not agree more. Through his pastoral instincts, organizational leadership capacities, deep theological commitments, and belief in the Church as our best hope, Paul Baxley will lead the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship into its next chapter.
Courtney Allen
Executive Coordinator Search Committee Member
Pastor, Grace Baptist Church, Richmond, Va.

The future of God’s work through the people of CBF is bright and brimming with potential. For this next crucial chapter of its story, it is fitting that CBF’s new Executive Coordinator, Dr. Paul Baxley, possesses the same qualities. Having experienced Paul as colleague, pastor, leader, mentor and true friend, I know CBF will benefit from his ability to navigate complexity with imagination, courage and hope. Paul’s extraordinary leadership gifts will enliven, inspire and embolden the extraordinary people of the Fellowship as we continue to discover Christ’s presence and call to serve around the world.
Hannah Coe
Pastor of Families and Faith Formation, First Baptist Church, Jefferson City, Mo.

I have known Paul as a minister and friend for nearly 30 years and can personally attest to his extraordinary gifts as a Baptist pastor. He is one of the most compelling preachers of our time—a confessional disciple with a penetrating theological mind and deeply compassionate heart. Paul not only succeeds a line of impressive leaders in this role, he also represents a combination of their best gifts. He shares Cecil Sherman’s strategic and tactical prowess, Daniel Vestal’s homiletical skill and Suzii Paynter’s wise courage. A cradle Baptist from North Carolina, a student of CBF’s brightest leaders, and a mentor to many of its rising stars, Paul has built strong relationships with CBF congregations and partners across the country, and they have all benefited from his visionary leadership.

We can also expect that he will give his full, creative attention to theological education as an essential mission of our Fellowship. As a younger pastor seeking to discern a bright future CBF, I find my own hopes for our Fellowship renewed by the good news of Paul’s hiring. Just as he has done in every other ministerial capacity to which he’s been called, Paul Baxley will commence a new era of flourishing for Cooperative Baptists.
Mack Dennis
Pastor, First Baptist Church, Asheville, N.C.

The Search Committee and Board have done a wonderful job in selecting Paul to serve as our next Executive Coordinator. Paul is a deeply committed Christian and a lifelong Baptist. He loves the Church and the way it is expressed through the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. He has a deep personal faith that is evident in all that he does. He has been deeply involved in CBF life and understands our mission and work and its importance for the church and the world. I am convinced that Paul will lead all of us in CBF to new levels of service in the name of Christ.
Gary Dollar
Executive Coordinator Search Committee Member (ex officio)
CBF Moderator

Paul Baxley is an excellent choice to lead CBF into our next chapter of ministry. He understands the organization as well as anyone, having chaired the Governing Board's recent task force on Global Missions Restructuring, which has enabled CBF to commit to long-term field presence. Equally importantly, Paul recognizes the diversity that exists among our Fellowship and his experience as a local church pastor positions him to keep us together as we focus on our common commitment to Christ's cause. Paul is thoughtful, articulate and sincere. We have much to look forward to in the days ahead under his leadership.
Doug Dortch
Former CBF Moderator, Pastor, Mountain Brook Baptist Church, Birmingham, Ala.

There are three things that I consider important for the future of CBF: focusing on the mission of God, caring and supporting the local churches, and including immigrants in the mission of God all the way through CBF. It was evident, throughout the course of the several interviews, that those three things are important for Paul Baxley as well. Paul is a pastor at heart who loves the church, loves missions and loves immigrants. He is a leader who understands that God does his missional work through the local church and through immigrants who God sends our way in cooperation with CBF. He understands the need for the church to send and receive missionaries to and from Latin America to minister alongside the local churches to ‘invite people to a relationship with Christ in word and deed.’ In the day and age in which we live, where the church is challenged with so much spiritual, political and social turmoil happening in our country and beyond, I believe Paul Baxley, as the next Executive Coordinator, is God’s person to lead our Fellowship forward into these challenging days and to help us thrive.
Juan Garcia
Search Committee Member
Pastor, Primera Iglesia Bautista, Newport News, Va.

Paul Baxley’s love of all parts of our Fellowship make him the ideal successor to Suzii Paynter. His passion for the local church, commitment to global missions, and support for sound theological education will inspire unity across our diverse Fellowship, helping us build upon our commonalities and discuss our differences. Paul’s theological authenticity and pastoral experience will help CBF meet the emerging needs of our world.
Jennifer Hawks
Search Committee Member
Associate General Counsel, Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, Washington, D.C.

Paul Baxley knows the local church through his creative and effective pastoral ministry. He has been deeply involved in the leadership of CBF for a number of years, giving him a unique perspective on the opportunities and challenges that face our Fellowship. Paul has demonstrated a sharp mind, an articulate voice, a caring heart, a visionary perspective and a Christian spirit. As Executive Coordinator, I believe that he will weave together these qualities and experiences to be an outstanding Executive Coordinator for our future. I am very excited about his selection to give leadership in the life and work of CBF.
David Hull
Associate Pastor, Second-Ponce de Leon Baptist Church, Atlanta, Ga.
Chair, 2012 Task Force of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship

Paul Baxley’s appointment as Executive Coordinator of CBF is a wonderful and hope-filled sign for the future. He is a gifted pastor, a visionary leader, and he sees the need and the opportunity for new and re-newed commitment to theological education and equipping transformational Christian leaders. A very exciting appointment!
L. Gregory Jones
Dean of Duke Divinity School
Williams Distinguished Professor of Theology and Christian Ministry, Duke University

Outstanding news! I wholeheartedly affirm the call of Dr. Paul Baxley as CBF’s next Executive Coordinator. I also applaud the search committee for accomplishing the arduous task of finding a leader who champions BOTH, the autonomy of the local church, as well as the shared work and witness of our increasingly diverse fellowship. Paul is a visionary leader with a listening heart. He has my unwavering trust, sincerest prayers and enthusiastic support.
Shaun Michael King
Senior Pastor, Johns Creek Baptist Church, Johns Creek, Ga.

Paul Baxley is a caring pastor, an excellent administrator, a perceptive analyst of challenges confronting American Christianity, and a person of outstanding character. Building on the fine work of his predecessors, he will provide significant leadership to CBF as the movement enters its 3rd decade. Paul knows well who we are and who we shouldn't be as Baptists, insights that should give us all great hope!
Bill J. Leonard
Former CBF Governing Board Member, Founding Dean and Professor of Divinity Emeritus, Wake Forest University School of Divinity, Winston-Salem, N.C.

At this time in the life of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, Paul Baxley is uniquely gifted to lead us into God’s future. In my time as Executive Coordinator of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Georgia, I’ve found Paul to be a steadfast supporter of CBF, a skilled and accomplished minister, and a trusted friend in ministry and life. He passionately supports congregationally engaged missions, moderate Baptist theological education and historic Baptist principles, all of which help define our Fellowship. The Fellowship will be in good, steady hands under Paul’s leadership.
Jody Long
Executive Coordinator, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Georgia

Paul Baxley’s selection to lead Cooperative Baptists signals a hopeful future for our movement. He is trusted by all of us across the CBF spectrum because of his deep roots within our community and his commitment to our inclusive and missional values. Ready, set, grow.
George Mason
Senior Pastor, Wilshire Baptist Church, Dallas, Texas

As the Search Committee focused on areas of concern for each candidate, my interests included evaluating his perspectives on inclusivity, social and racial justice issues. Any reservations we might have had were quickly dispelled as Paul Baxley shared his understanding of biblical perspectives that have guided his past and present involvements. He beckoned us to join him as he gives substantive leadership to these concerns. I pledge to support him and CBF with all that I can bring.
Emmanuel L. McCall
Search Committee Member
Pastor, First Baptist Church, East Point, Ga., and Former CBF Moderator

The Executive Coordinator search committee, chaired by Jeff Roberts, has made an excellent choice for our next Cooperative Baptist Fellowship leader. Paul Baxley has made significant contributions to CBF life, most recently working as a member of the Governing Board to restructure personnel policies for field personnel and also as a vital member of the Illumination Project. Paul is a worthy successor to Cecil Sherman, Daniel Vestal and Suzii Paynter.
Bill McConnell
CBF Governing Board Member
CBF Moderator (2013)

Paul Baxley’s calm and thoughtful style of leadership is exactly what the Fellowship needs right now. His long history of service in CBF life, both on the global and state levels, and his understanding of the intricacies of our Fellowship make him a strong person to lead us into the future.
Carol McEntyre
Pastor, First Baptist Church, Columbia, Mo.

Over the past year, Paul and I have exchanged opportunities to preach in each other’s churches: I in Athens as their Martha Stearns Marshall preacher for Baptist Women in Ministry’s February emphasis, he in Winston-Salem to mark our extensive building transition as a favorite ‘child of the church' who felt called to ministry within these walls. Among the great joys of these occasions was the chance to catch a glimpse of the breadth and depth, height and length of Paul’s vast giftedness: highly relational and brilliantly strategic pastor, devoted student of scripture, faithful spouse and beloved dad, active agent of God’s transforming love at work in the world. I know Paul to be a genuine consensus builder who holds faithfully to his own convictions. Intentional, steady and wise, he goes out of his way to listen across the aisles and around the edges. For such a time as this, I am grateful and thrilled for all of us that Paul and Jennifer have heard God’s call to CBF. We are in good hands.
Emily Hull McGee
Pastor, First Baptist Church on Fifth, Winston-Salem, N.C.

As long-term global field personnel, we are professionally and personally thrilled with the selection of Paul Baxley as the new executive coordinator of Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. Paul guided his church through an intentional visioning process which led them to connect with us in ministry in Slovakia over 5 years ago. This partnership models a commitment to the new realities of CBF Global Missions. Paul and Jennifer made a personal commitment as well as leading their church to make commitments to this model—supporting the Offering for Global Missions as well as our programming budget. Paul's leadership along with other FBC Athens staff nurtured an entrepreneurial, missional passion among their church members to see mission as near as their own fellowship hall and as far away as Vazec, Slovakia. FBC Athens models what it is to be a missional, global church.

Engaging the local church in relational mission continues to be the heartbeat of Cooperative Baptist Fellowship life. With Paul at the helm, we are confident he will continue the deep commitment for global missions. After hosting almost 100 members of FBC Athens, including Paul and his daughter Livy in Slovakia, we are thankful that the relationships we have developed have had a transformational impact among both FBC Athens and our local partners in Slovakia. We are thankful for our friend, Paul Baxley and his visionary leadership in nurturing these relationships. We are excited to continue to partner with Paul and anticipate a bright future for our Fellowship family as Paul leads and transforms CBF.
Dianne and Shane McNary
CBF field personnel, Slovakia

Through the CBF Executive Coordinator search process we met leaders who brought talent, hope, creativity, energy, spiritual resilience, strong faith and wisdom. It was encouraging to recognize that we are a consistently producing and nurturing these kinds of leaders. Paul Baxley brings all of those attributes. His wisdom, theological maturity and knowledge coupled with his desire to listen and love people will help him guide CBF through this next chapter in our narrative. Paul's leadership style reflects deep faith and authenticity. Paul is dedicated to equipping and strengthening theological education, mission work, the church, partner organizations and all of us involved in the life of CBF. Please join me in committing to pray for Paul, his family and CBF as we all seek to follow our God-given mission.
Jackie Baugh Moore
Executive Coordinator Search Committee Member

For more than a decade, Paul Baxley and I have collaborated to make progress on critical issues from supporting congregations and pastors to funding missions. His contributions have resulted in proposals that garnered respect from outsiders like Lilly Endowment and support from within the CBF community. In these efforts, Paul has demonstrated keen insight into the Bible, Baptist history and contemporary ministry that has and will serve CBF well.
Dave Odom
Executive Director, Leadership Education at Duke Divinity

I am very excited to hear that Paul Baxley will be our next Executive Coordinator for CBF. Paul relates well to folks of all walks of life and his spiritual leadership will be a great asset to our fellowship. When I worked with Paul during the strategic planning for CBF Global Missions, he demonstrated an ability to grasp the complexity of our task, communicate the mission of CBF Global Missions clearly, care for the voices of all the stakeholders, and build consensus for the good of long-term missions engagement. I believe God will work through Paul as he assumes this vital leadership role, and I welcome him with a full heart.
Michael B. Oliver
Senior Pastor, Trinity Baptist Church, Madison, Ala.

Paul Baxley has already been an exemplary leader for CBF! I welcome him into the Executive Coordinator’s role with enthusiasm and certain hope for the future. God has shown faithfulness to CBF by preparing the way in every era and through each transition and so it is with Paul. As a pastor, he has the respect and admiration of generations across CBF life. His wisdom and energy are gifts that he generously contributes in every endeavor. Personally, he is a true friend and warmly regarded colleague. One keystone of his leadership is building consensus and participation by charting a purposeful course worthy of engagement. He has asked big questions and sought high callings. His love for the church, his Lord, and the people of the world have equipped him with God’s gifts and God’s blessing to be the best-ever Executive Coordinator of CBF.
Suzii Paynter
CBF Executive Coordinator

Leadership demands the very best of a person. Paul’s ‘best’ is as fine as it gets.
Julie Pennington-Russell
Pastor, First Baptist Church of the City of Washington, D.C., Washington, D.C.

Paul Baxley is uniquely qualified to lead CBF into our next chapter. He is pastor, scholar and congregational leader! He knows this Fellowship, has helped shape this infrastructure, and will unify us around the major challenges of congregational ministries and the global mission enterprise.
Bo Prosser
Former Coordinator of Ministries
Director, Ministerial Excellence Initiative
Cooperative Baptist Fellowship

It is with great confidence and joy that our Search Committee recommends Dr. Paul Baxley as our next Executive Director. Paul has both an in-depth knowledge of the CBF’s past but also a passion and vision for our future. This vision and passion is grounded in biblical and theological reflection and a devotion to the mission of Jesus. He has excellent communication skills that clearly articulates this vision. I believe the vision, that Dr. Baxley will cast, will strengthen the local church and at the same time call us to a mission in our world that can only be achieved when work together as beloved community. I am excited about the next chapter in CBF life under the leadership of Dr. Paul Baxley.
Jeff Roberts
Executive Coordinator Search Committee Chair
Senior Pastor, Trinity Baptist Church, Raleigh, N.C.

I'm an unabashed, unequivocal Suzii Paynter fan. Full stop. I hate to lose her. And when I joined the Search Committee for her successor, I truly wondered whether we could fill those metaphorically-big shoes. Then I met Paul Baxley. He has what CBF wants and needs for such a time as this. The eyes, head, hands, feet and heart: vision, intellect, service, travel and compassion. More than merely a successor, he will take us on new adventures in new ways only God has yet imagined for us.
J. Chris Sanders
Executive Coordinator Search Committee Member
Member, Ridgewood Baptist Church, Louisville, Ky.

Paul Baxley is a person of impeccable integrity and deep Christian conviction. His wisdom and spiritual discernment is equaled by his energy and maturity. Paul has demonstrated his love for CBF through the years, and he is poised to lead us with vision and passion. I am looking forward to our future together.
Daniel Vestal
CBF Executive Coordinator, 1996-2012

Paul Baxley is trusted, respected, and loved by everyone I know who has ever worked with him. And it is no wonder why: Paul thinks deeply and well; he quickly gets to the heart of difficult matters and delicately deals with difficult ones. Over the past 6 years Paul has been at the center of every major decision in CBF life: he was the chair of personnel on the first Governing Board and in that role rewrote the Field Personnel manual. Paul worked hand in glove with Steven Porter in the rewrite of the theology for Global Missions which guides our work today. Paul masterfully put into words the consensus of the Illumination Project team. Each time we have had a hard or thankless job that is critical to CBF life, Paul has been faithful to respond to a call. And now he is being asked to take on a hard and thank-filled job: leading all of CBF’s work. I know of no one better prepared or more qualified to lead us today than Paul.
Steve Wells
Pastor, South Main Baptist Church, Houston, Texas

There isn't a hard piece of work at CBF in the last 5 years that Paul Baxley hasn't put his hands on to get it into a better place. I look forward to following his lead yet again.
Rebecca Wiggs
Search Committee Member
Governing Board Member
Jackson, Miss.