Seth Udinski, FISM News
In the wake of widespread allegations of sexual abuse, former Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) Executive Committee president Ronnie Floyd stepped down in October of 2021. The denomination has just named Floyd’s successor, Pastor Willie McLaurin, who will become the first African American president of the SBC Executive Committee in the almost 200-year history of the denomination.
McLaurin has served in the SBC for many years in various pastoral and mission leadership roles. He has served as the vice president of the Executive Commitee’s Great Commission relations and mobilization for the last two years.
Pastor Rolan Slade, who serves as Executive Committee Chairman, said of McLaurin,
We hope that he will help us to reset the tone by which the EC serves Southern Baptists. Immediately before us is the challenge to regain the sense of trust of Southern Baptists.
McLaurin said on Tuesday,
My prayer is that this season will bring healing and unity to our Convention. When we love each other the way Jesus loves people then we create the atmosphere for cooperation. All of us here on this earth are interims, and I am humbled and honored to be selected and wholly dependent on the Lord to carry out His will in this time of transition.
Recently appointed SBC President Ed Litton also lauded McLaurin, calling him an “exemplary choice” as head of the SBC Executive Committee.
Some, however, see the move as mere lip service by the denomination, which has been accused in the past of ignoring minority leaders.