‘Radical’ Pastor David Platt Elected New President of SBC International Mission Board

David Platt, new president of the Southern Baptist International Mission Board, is seen interacting with schoolchildren in Indonesia in this file photo. (IMB photo)
David Platt, new president of the Southern Baptist International Mission Board, is seen interacting with schoolchildren in Indonesia in this file photo. (IMB photo)

The 36-year-old pastor of The Church at Brook Hills, a Southern Baptist congregation in Birmingham, Ala., takes office immediately as president of the SBC International Mission Board. With more than 4,800 missionaries, the IMB is the largest denominational missionary-sending body among American evangelicals.

David Platt, a 36-year-old pastor active in the “young, restless and reformed” movement in the Southern Baptist Convention, was elected Aug. 27 as president of the SBC International Mission Board.

Platt, pastor of The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Ala., since 2006, succeeds current IMB president Tom Eliff, who in February announced plans to retire as soon as a new president was named.

David Uth, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Orlando, Fla., and chairman of a 15-member search committee that recommended Platt as president, told reporters in a telephone conference call that the group became convinced that Platt “is the man that God appointed and anointed” for the job after a meeting in July in Denver.

Platt said he was “honored, humbled [and] overwhelmed” to see God at work not only among the IMB trustees but also in his own ministry. Since a recent mission trip to Nepal, he said, his focus has increasingly narrowed on sharing the gospel with unreached people groups around the world. At one point, he said, it occurred to him that if he was willing to serve as an international missionary, he should also be willing to shepherd and lead others desiring to do the same.

Platt is founder of Radical — a para-church ministry dedicated to making disciples both locally and around the world.

He has been active in Together for the Gospel, a biennial preaching conference for followers of the so-called “New Calvinism” — popularized by leaders including John Piper of Desiring God Ministries and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Albert Mohler — that emphasizes God’s sovereignty in deciding who is saved.

Platt said at a Together for the Gospel gathering in Louisville, Ky., in 2012 that “global missions is tragically neglected” in much of the contemporary church’s emphasis on local mission and ministry.

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SOURCE: Associated Baptist Press
Bob Allen

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