NASHVILLE (BP)—LifeWay Christian Resources Executive Vice President Brad Waggoner has been named acting president and chief executive officer of the Southern Baptist entity until a new president is elected.
Waggoner will serve in the role previously held by Thom Rainer, who announced his retirement plans in August 2018.
LifeWay trustee board Chairman Jimmy Scroggins shared his appreciation for Rainer and his “courageous leadership over the past 13 years.”
“Since announcing his retirement, he has continued to serve during the presidential search process with unwavering determination to prepare the way for the next leader,” Scroggins said, noting Rainer recently expressed his desire to “move ahead with his retirement” effective Feb. 28.
“I cannot begin to express my respect and appreciation for Dr. Rainer,” said Scroggins, pastor of the Family Church in West Palm Beach, Fla. “He has led LifeWay through some challenging times and difficult circumstances, and he has done so with integrity and wisdom. His leadership has allowed LifeWay to expand its reach to the global church. Our prayers are with him as he begins a new season of ministry.”
Rainer has served since February 2006 as the ninth president of LifeWay.
“I love LifeWay and the incredible men and women who serve the Lord with joy, purpose and hard work as they provide resources for churches and biblical solutions for life,” Rainer said. “I am looking forward to the new era of LifeWay and what God will do with new leadership. I have full confidence the 10th president of LifeWay will lead this organization into its greatest era.”
Scroggins noted the “search committee’s work is on track,” and the committee hopes to name a new president “in the near future.” According to LifeWay’s bylaws, in the absence of a president, the executive vice president is to serve as acting president, he noted.
“I’m excited to announce Dr. Brad Waggoner has agreed to fill this role as the presidential search process continues,” Scroggins said. “LifeWay is fortunate to have an experienced leader like Dr. Waggoner already in place to guide the organization during this transition.”
Since 2010, Waggoner has served as LifeWay’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, overseeing daily operations and helping provide strategic leadership of the organization.
“It is an honor and privilege to take this role, even for a short season,” Waggoner said. “I’m thankful for the opportunity to have served alongside Dr. Rainer these past several years. The courage he has displayed to make difficult decisions during his tenure and do the right thing for this organization has been a source of encouragement to me.
“LifeWay is in an incredible time of transition but also a time of great opportunity. LifeWay is a global leader in providing relevant, trustworthy, biblical resources and events for all ages. We will continue to fulfill LifeWay’s mission, build on the path set before us and serve to the glory of God.”