FORT WORTH (BP)—Nine Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary trustees were appointed to a search committee to recommend the seminary’s next president.
Trustee Chair Kevin Ueckert, pastor of First Baptist Church in Georgetown, appointed the committee and announced it to the full board Aug. 23.
Danny Roberts, an at-large trustee and executive pastor of North Richland Hills Baptist Church, in suburban Fort Worth, will chair the search committee. Roberts is an alumnus of Southwestern Seminary, earning a Master of Church Music degree in 1979, and has served as a trustee since 2016, sitting on the communications, policies and strategic initiatives committee.
Other committee members are Denise Ewing (Ill.), Jamie Green of Katy (at-large, search committee secretary), Guy Grimes (Calif.), Todd Houston (N.C.), Tom James (Ky.), Philip Levant of Hurst (at-large), Andre Palmer (N.Y.) and Calvin Wittman (Colo., search committee vice chair). Ueckert and board vice chair Connie Hancock (Ohio) are ex officio members of the committee.
The committee includes two women, one African-American and one Hispanic, according to an Aug. 24 news release from the seminary. The committee is diverse geographically and mixed in terms of trustee tenure, with five in their first five-year term and the other four in their second five-year term. Two search committee members are members of the trustee executive committee.
“Between now and the October board meeting, the presidential search committee will be focused on developing the candidate profile and the application process, as well as entering a time of focused prayer,” Ueckert said.
The committee will nominate a successor to former Southwestern Seminary President Paige Patterson, who was moved to president emeritus status in May and terminated less than a week later. Patterson had been under fire since late April for statements he made about domestic abuse and women’s physical appearance. He also drew criticism for his handling of an alleged 2003 sexual assault at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he served as president from 1992 to 2003.
Southwestern Seminary’s bylaws state a president must be elected by the trustee board. The search committee is accepting nominations sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.