Platt to step down from IMB; Meador named as interim

by Julie McGowan , posted Friday, September 14, 2018 (6 days ago)

EDITOR'S NOTE: Statements from IMB President David Platt and trustee chairman Rick Dunbar follow this story.

RICHMOND, Va. (BP) -- After receiving the resignation of David Platt as president of the International Mission Board, to be effective at the Sept. 27 trustee meeting, the trustees' executive committee voted in a special meeting Sept. 13 to name Clyde Meador as interim president, subject to full board approval.

David Platt
 
Platt has served as IMB president since Aug. 27, 2014. Since September of last year, he also has served as pastor/teacher of McLean Bible Church in metro Washington, D.C. On Feb. 12 of this year, Platt asked IMB trustees to begin searching for his successor. While requesting that the search for the mission board's next president begin immediately, Platt stated his intention to continue serving as president during the search process.

In that commitment, board chairman Rick Dunbar reported in a statement issued Sept. 14 that Platt has continued to serve "with resolute steadfastness, and has not wavered in his commitment to the Lord, to the IMB, staff, field personnel, and Southern Baptists as a whole."

"Trustee officers recently discussed with David the possibility of the need for an organizational transition to an interim time as the presidential search continues," Dunbar, a member of First Baptist Church in Madison, Miss., continued. "The board's Executive Committee met, and after prayer and discussion decided to release David from his commitment to the IMB in order to allow him to focus full time on his new role in gospel ministry at McLean Bible Church, and for the IMB to move forward into a transition period."

In his tenure as president, Platt "has led in the global mission task with impeccable integrity, great wisdom, and a deep passion for God, the church, and the lost," Dunbar said. "He is one of the most gifted preachers of this generation.

Clyde Meador
 
"Because of his leadership, the IMB has been streamlined as an organization for greater effectiveness in the 21st century," Dunbar added. "He has led the IMB to solid financial ground, and the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering has been as strong as ever."

In his statement released Sept. 14, Platt referenced his intention to serve as president during the search for his successor but also noted, "I want to honor the authority God has placed over me in every way I can, and I want to do whatever is best for the IMB."

"As I give myself to global mission as pastor of a local church, I am praying continually for God's grace in leading trustees to a good, godly leader for the future of the IMB," Platt said. "Moreover, I am praying continually for God's blessing on the incredible staff and missionaries of the IMB who comprise a passionate, potent force for the spread of His gospel and His glory among the nations. I am grateful to God, to these brothers and sisters, and to the churches of the SBC for the humbling privilege, pure joy, and undeserved honor of serving in this role over these years."

After a year and a half in retirement, Meador returned to his current role as executive adviser to the president in January 2018. In his 42 years of service with the IMB, Meador has worked closely with three presidents as an adviser and executive vice president, and he previously served as IMB's interim president from August 2010 to March 2011. He and his wife Elaine were appointed as missionaries to Indonesia in 1974. Their service also included leadership in South Asia, Southeast Asia and Central Asia before joining the IMB's leadership team in Richmond in 2001.

"Clyde's walk with the Lord, humility, wisdom, broad experience and steady leadership will prove valuable during the time of transition," Dunbar said.

IMB trustees will meet Sept. 26-27 in Richmond, Va. A Sending Celebration to honor the newest Southern Baptist international missionaries will be hosted Sept. 26 at 7 p.m. at Grove Avenue Baptist Church in Richmond.

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Statement from David Platt

Seven months ago, February 12, 2018, I asked trustees to begin a search for a new president, and I committed to serve the IMB faithfully as president until my successor was found. Recently, however, in light of trustee concerns about me serving as a pastor in a church while finishing my service as president of the IMB, trustee leaders asked me to consider stepping down from my position in the near future rather than waiting for my successor to be in place. I want to honor the authority God has placed over me in every way I can, and I want to do whatever is best for the IMB. Therefore, I am stepping down from my role at the IMB, effective at our next trustee meeting, September 27, 2018.

As I give myself to global mission as pastor of a local church, I am praying continually for God's grace in leading trustees to a good, godly leader for the future of the IMB. Moreover, I am praying continually for God's blessing on the incredible staff and missionaries of the IMB who comprise a passionate, potent force for the spread of His gospel and His glory among the nations. I am grateful to God, to these brothers and sisters, and to the churches of the SBC for the humbling privilege, pure joy, and undeserved honor of serving in this role over these years.

David Platt

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Statement from Rick Dunbar

On February 12, 2018, David Platt asked IMB Trustees to begin the search for a new president. At the time he committed to serve the IMB as president until his successor was elected. He has continued to do so with resolute steadfastness, and has not wavered in his commitment to the Lord, to the IMB, staff, field personnel, and Southern Baptists as a whole.

Trustee officers recently discussed with David the possibility of the need for an organizational transition to an interim time as the presidential search continues. Following their discussions, David submitted his resignation as President of the IMB effective September 27, 2018. The board's Executive Committee met, and after prayer and discussion decided to release David from his commitment to the IMB in order to allow him to focus full time on his new role in gospel ministry at McLean Bible Church, and for the IMB to move forward into a transition period.

At the same EC meeting, the Committee voted for Clyde Meador, executive advisor to the President, to be named interim President of the IMB starting September 27, 2018, subject to full board approval. Clyde's walk with the Lord, humility, wisdom, broad experience and steady leadership will prove valuable during a time of transition.

Dr. Platt has served as the President of the IMB since August 27, 2014. He has led in the global mission task with impeccable integrity, great wisdom, and a deep passion for God, the church, and the lost. He is one of the most gifted preachers of this generation. His teaching has impacted an untold number of people and challenged them to lay their lives out as a blank check before God.

He leaves having completed several major initiatives. Under his leadership, we have been strengthened theologically with the capstone Foundations document as evidence. Because of his leadership, the IMB has been streamlined as an organization for greater effectiveness in the 21st century. He has led the IMB to solid financial ground, and the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering has been as strong as ever.

We love David Platt. I am eternally grateful to God for his leadership among us. We pray for God's blessings on David and his family as they continue their kingdom service at McLean Bible Church.

Since 1845, Southern Baptists have focused on reaching the lost with the Gospel of Jesus Christ in obedience to the Great Commission. Our mission today remains forward focused. Let's join together to pray that our best days are ahead of us, for the glory of God and for the sake of the lost.

Rick Dunbar

IMB Trustee Chairman

Julie McGowan is public relations manager for the IMB.
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