SAN ANTONIO—René Maciel resigned as president of Baptist University of the Américas to become community life pastor at First Baptist Church of Woodway in Waco, effective Oct. 16.
Maciel, who has led BUA since 2007, also is president of the Baptist General Convention of Texas and associate minister at First Baptist Church of Castroville. He will preside at the BGCT annual meeting in Waco, Nov. 13-15.
During his tenure at BUA, enrollment has doubled. In recent months, he led the school to relocate from eight outdated buildings on 12 acres along S. Pan Am Expressway to a nearby renovated medical office building on Barlite Boulevard.
“The board of trustees is obviously saddened to receive President Maciel’s resignation,” said Van Christian, trustee chair and pastor of First Baptist Church in Comanche. “However, we also understand the significance of God’s call on his life. We are confident that just as God has prepared him for this change, he has also prepared someone to become the new president of BUA.”
The board will meet within the next few days to start the presidential search process, Christian said.
“Just as Joshua succeeded Moses in leading the Hebrew people into the promised land, we believe God already has a new leader selected to lead the BUA family into the new era inhabiting our new home,” he said. “We are excited about the search for that person and confident that God will lead us to the person he has already prepared for the role.
“We are incredibly grateful for President Maciel and his leadership which has brought BUA to its current position, which we consider to be the best in its rich history. The trustees wish all God’s best on René and (his wife) Sabrina as they begin this new position of God’s plan in their lives.”
First Baptist Church of Woodway “couldn’t be more excited to have René joining the staff,” said Paul Sands, lead pastor of the Waco-area congregation.
“As the BUA community knows so well, René brings a wealth of experience, strong leadership, and infectious enthusiasm to everything he does. He will help First Woodway strengthen its outreach to the Waco community and beyond,” Sands said.
“From my conversations with René, I can tell you that his love for the staff, students and supporters of BUA is undiminished. He has already suggested ways that First Woodway could forge a closer partnership with BUA as it prepares students for leadership in our state and region. René’s visionary leadership at BUA has impressed people throughout Texas. We are thrilled to have him join us at First Woodway.”
Prior to joining BUA, Maciel was the assistant dean at Baylor University’s Truett Theological Seminary. He also served at New Mexico Baptist Children’s Home in Portales, N.M., and Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene.
BUA, a BGCT-affiliated school, trains about 300 students from more than 20 countries, offering five bachelor’s degrees, as well as an associate’s degree in cross-cultural studies.