Paul Chitwood, executive director of the Kentucky Baptist Convention since 2011, has been nominated as 13th president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board.
If elected during a trustee meeting Nov. 14-15, the 48-year-old Chitwood will succeed David Platt, who resigned Sept. 17 to return full-time to the pastorate.
Chitwood would be the third leader at the 173-year-old missionary-sending organization in the past decade. Platt held the post four years. His predecessor, Tom Elliff, served three years before retiring after succeeding 17-year President Jerry Rankin, who retired in 2010.
Chitwood, a former IMB trustee who led the board as chairman 2008-2010, has teaching ties to Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, a bastion of the neo-Calvinistic movement flexing its muscles in SBC leadership.
Another faction calling itself traditional Southern Baptists recently lost one its best-known representatives when Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary President Paige Patterson got fired over concerns raised by the #MeToo movement.
Another non-Calvinist, former SBC president Frank Page, stepped down in March as president of the denomination’s Executive Committee as result of what an official termed a “morally inappropriate relationship.”
Both entities named interim leadership until permanent replacements are found. Presidential searches are also underway at LifeWay Christian Resources and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
Outgoing LifeWay President Thom Rainer worked previously at Southern Seminary. Chuck Kelley, who retires at the end of the current academic year as president at New Orleans Seminary, is Patterson’s brother-in-law.