A Southern Baptist pastor, author and college professor has been appointed to a new executive level position with the Baptist World Alliance.
As director of advancement and Global Impact Churches, Philip Nation will cultivate donor relationships and oversee a comprehensive fund-raising program, the Falls Church, Virginia,-based BWA announced March 12.
Nation, senior pastor at First Baptist Church of Bradenton, Florida, since 2016, received a doctor-of-ministry degree from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2011. He majored in religion at Samford University before earning his master-of-divinity degree from Beeson Divinity School in 1994.
He previously served as an elder and teaching pastor at The Fellowship, a Southern Baptist church with two campuses in metropolitan Nashville, Tennessee, and worked eight years at LifeWay Christian Resources, the Southern Baptist Convention’s publishing arm.
The Southern Baptist Convention, a founding member of the global Baptist network and long its lead financial contributor, pulled out of the BWA in 2004, alleging a “continual leftward drift” in the international body that today numbers more than 47 million Baptists in 125 countries.
A final catalyst in the rift was a decision by the BWA to grant membership to the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, an 1,800-church group that broke away from the SBC in 1991 over differences including whether or not God calls women to be pastors.
The First Baptist Church of Bradenton website says the congregation aligns with both the Southern Baptist Convention and the Baptist Faith and Message as revised in 2000. That version narrowed doctrinal parameters in earlier consensus faith statements affirmed in 1925 and 1963, adding restrictions that “while both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture” and “a wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband.”
Nation worked at LifeWay Christian Resources in roles including director of adult ministry publishing and director of content development. He has contributed to more than 30 books and since 2014 has taught as assistant professor of leadership and biblical studies at Houston Baptist University.
BWA General Secretary Elijah Brown said Nation “brings a wealth of experience and a passion for global engagement to this role, and I am honored to welcome him to the BWA team.”
Nation tweeted March 12 he is “honored and excited” by his selection and “looking forward to the global work ahead” with the BWA.
BWA President Paul Msiza, pastor of Peniel-Salem Baptist Church in Pretoria, South Africa, said Nation “brings a passion for the local church and a strategic vision to leverage our collective resources to best fulfill our mission.”
Southern Baptist colleagues congratulated Nation on Twitter.
“Congrats, Philip! Praying for you as you transition,” said Adam Greenway, newly elected president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.
“Fantastic!” said Malcolm Yarnell, research professor of systematic theology at Southwestern Seminary.
“Congratulations!” added Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research.