August 28, 2014 | Glen Allen, Virginia – Dr. David Platt, pastor of The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Alabama, was elected president of the Southern Baptist International Mission Board this week by board trustees.
According to Platt, he will preach at The Church at Brook Hills until September 14. Effective immediately, he takes office as president of the 169-year-old IMB, the largest denominational missionary-sending body among American evangelicals. More than 4,800 Southern Baptist international missionaries serve worldwide.
After the vote became official, SBC of Virginia’s executive director and president spoke out about 36-year-old Platt taking the helm of the IMB.
“Passion for the glory of God and for the nations is overwhelmingly evident in David Platt,” said Dr. Brian Autry, executive director of the SBC of Virginia. Autry was one of many in attendance at The Heights Baptist Church on Wednesday who heard Platt’s first sermon to newly appointed IMB missionaries.
Autry got a chance to encourage Platt on his new position. “I assured David of our love and prayers as his family makes this transition. The SBC of Virginia has demonstrated by word and deed a heart for church planting and missions both here and globally since our founding. More than ever, we must mobilize more for missions.”
“Leadership is influence,” said Dr. Grant Ethridge, president of the SBC of Virginia and senior pastor of Liberty Baptist Church in Hampton, Virginia. “David Platt was already the mission leader of a new generation. Yesterday, God chose him to be our leader. I believe the Lord will use David to raise up the largest army of young people Southern Baptists have ever seen to take the Gospel to the nations.”
In a letter to Autry and the churches of the SBC of Virginia, Platt reaffirmed the dynamic partnership that exists between the two missions agencies.
“I simply wanted to drop you a note from the start to let you know how grateful I am for your leadership in the SBC,” Platt wrote. “As I have walked through this process over these past months, I have been reminded over and over again of the grace God has given in the SBC, from local associations to state conventions to national entities, and the opportunities that exist in the SBC for the spread of the Gospel across North America and among every nation. I am eagerly looking forward to working alongside you in partnership toward that end. As I pray for you, I would ask that you pray for wisdom, grace, and strength for me to lead the IMB well for God’s glory.”
Autry is now challenging SBCV pastors and churches to coalesce behind both Platt and the IMB in prayer.
“Let us pray that the Lord will strengthen and increase our missions coalition of churches in our time to make more disciples and plant more churches across this lost world.”