Published April 17, 2018
NASHVILLE—Jimmy Draper, former president of the Southern Baptist Convention and president emeritus of LifeWay Christian Resources, has been named "EC Ambassador" by August Boto, interim president of the SBC Executive Committee.
Draper, who has maintained an active speaking schedule since retiring from LifeWay in 2006, is "someone for whom no introduction or explanation need be given," Boto said in an April 9 announcement. "He is someone whom involved Southern Baptists all across our nation would immediately recognize and trust."
EC chairman Stephen Rummage, after an April 4 meeting of the Executive Committee's officers, stated that Boto, the EC's executive vice president and general counsel, was being named as interim president and was accorded "the option to appoint an interim EC presidential ambassador during this period of transition to assist him in fulfilling the many representative functions that fall to the office of president."
Boto, in his announcement, stated that Draper's "experience as an SBC president and as an SBC entity leader will prove invaluable. Especially, I intend to ask him to relate to the Great Commission Council as the Executive Committee's representative, and I would anticipate that the entity leaders on that body would welcome him in that role.
"Additionally, he will be able to cover speaking assignments at state conventions and elsewhere, already knowing and understanding the constantly changing SBC landscape and areas of challenge. I cannot imagine him not being well-suited for any aspect of service I might ask him to help me with," Boto said.
Draper was LifeWay's president from 1991-2006; SBC president from 1982-1984 and, earlier, president of the SBC Pastors' Conference. He led the Dallas/Fort Worth-area First Baptist Church in Euless for 16 of his 35 years in pastoral ministry at eight churches. He is a graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he later served as trustee chairman and currently is chairman of the board of advisers of seminary supporters.
Boto described Draper and his wife Carol Ann as "close friends with my family since the 1970s. He shares my deep love for our convention and its cooperative methodology. I am in debt to his model, his training and his counsel for no small part of that love." (BP)
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