Human rights activist Elijah Brown has been elected general secretary of the North American Baptist Fellowship, succeeding congregational leadership coach and author George Bullard, the organization has announced.
Brown is the executive vice president of the Falls Church, Va.-based 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative, an international human rights group that advocates religious freedom as a universal right. The Baptist World Alliance once designated him as one of the top emerging global leaders in 2007.
He will begin his new role with NABF on Oct. 1.
“I have known Elijah since 2007, and observed his ministry and passion as something of great value to the work of BWA and NABF,” Bullard said in a news release. “He brings youthful excitement to the role and should continue the positive development of NABF.”
As Bullard steps down, he will focus on a four-year project called Legacy Season, which offers training and coaching to congregations and denominations.
Brown will continue in his role with the Wilberforce Initiative while devoting 20 percent of his time to his new NABF role. He is expected to be elected in July to North America regional secretary within BWA — a position typically held by the NABF general secretary.
As NABF general secretary, Brown will serve with Samuel Tolbert, the organization’s newly elected president. He is pastor of Greater St. Mary Missionary Baptist Church and president of the National Baptist Convention of America International, Inc. Tolbert has been an NABF vice president the past four years.
Before joining Wilberforce, Brown served as an associate professor of religion at East Texas Baptist University, where he also was the founding director of the Freedom Center.