NASHVILLE (BP)—Officers of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee named D. August “Augie” Boto interim president of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee.
Meeting in Nashville April 4, the officers acted according to Executive Committee bylaws in tapping Boto—the governing agency’s executive vice president and general counsel—for leadership following the March 27 retirement of former President Frank S. Page, who cited a “personal failing” in announcing his immediate departure.
The five officers also granted Boto “the option to appoint an interim (Executive Committee) presidential ambassador during this period of transition to assist him in fulfilling the many representative functions that fall to the office of president,” Chairman Stephen Rummage said.
Boto announced April 9 he named Jimmy Draper, former SBC president and president emeritus of LifeWay Christian Resources, to the ambassador’s post. Draper was pastor of First Baptist Church in Euless 16 years.
Boto, an attorney, “brings more than 20 years of denominational service to this strategic task” as SBC Executive Committee president, said Rummage, pastor of Bell Shoals Baptist Church in Brandon, Fla.
“Following three years as a member of the Executive Committee in the 1990s, he was selected as Executive Committee vice president for convention policy/staff counsel in 1998. In 2007, he was named executive vice president and general counsel of the Executive Committee.
“The officers have confidence that Augie will provide stability in leadership for the Executive Committee during this interim period as the EC begins its search for a new president.”
The Executive Committee staff “is committed to the principle that Southern Baptists accomplish more when we work together,” Boto said. “In the lead-up to the SBC annual meeting in Dallas, our staff will spotlight the full array of Southern Baptist missions and ministries, promoting support for our collaborative work through the Cooperative Program.”
The full EC will elect a presidential search committee during a special called plenary session in Nashville April 17.
The six-member search committee will be elected by written ballot among nominees from the floor during the special meeting. The board chair will serve as an ex-officio member with the right to vote, constituting a seven-member presidential search committee.
“We ask Southern Baptists to continue to pray for the Executive Committee staff in their day-to-day duties in the countdown days to the SBC annual meeting in Dallas and for the full Executive Committee as we meet in two weeks to elect a presidential search committee,” Rummage said.
In addition to Rummage, the EC officers who met in Nashville were secretary Stacy Bramlett, a bank vice president in Collierville, Tenn.; Administrative Committee chairman Kent Choate, people development pastor at Foundation Church Sapulpa in Sand Springs, Okla.; Business and Finance Committee chairman Steve Swofford, pastor of First Baptist Church in Rockwall; and Cooperative Program Committee chairman Rolland Slade, pastor of Meridian Baptist Church in El Cajon, Calif. The sixth officer, vice chairman Shane Hall, died in February and has not yet been replaced.
Boto is a member of Forest Hills Baptist Church in Nashville, where he is a Sunday School teacher and Bible study leader. He is married to Cindy, and they have three adult children—Lucas, Matt and Grace.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The fourth paragraph was added April 9, after the original article was posted.