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NASHVILLE — Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee President Frank Page announced his upcoming retirement to Executive Committee members and the public this morning.
“Prayers are appreciated as I have announced my retirement. God bless you all for your precious friendship and prayers [of] support over these years,” he shared on both Facebook and Twitter at 9:26 a.m.
Page, who held the position since 2010, explained his decision in a letter to Executive Committee members since posted to Baptist Press.
“Many months ago, my daughters shared their deep desire for Dayle and me to retire and move closer to them in South Carolina so that we might spend more time with them and their families – especially our grandchildren. After much prayer and conversation, we have chosen to make this decision,” he wrote.
After serving as pastor in North Carolina and Texas, Page occupied the pulpit at Warren Baptist Church in Augusta from 1991-2001. He would move on to First Baptist in Taylors, SC, leading that church’s growth and continued leadership in Cooperative Program giving. In addition, he was elected SBC president in 2006 as a somewhat-of-a-surprise first ballot winner.
Advocate for CP, broaden Convention involvement
In the news conference following his 2006 election, Page said he believed the vote for him was a wakeup call from grassroots Southern Baptists to focus on the Cooperative Program channel for missions support and to broaden the Convention’s base for involvement.
Prior to serving as Executive Committee president, Page was vice president of evangelization at the North American Mission Board.
Steps to include ethnic and younger Southern Baptists became a hallmark of Page’s leadership as SBC president and with the Executive Committee. On his second day as EC president, Page announced his intention to appoint the first of four ethnic advisory councils in cooperation with NAMB. Those councils would, in turn, serve as platforms by which SBC entity leaders could gain a greater appreciation and understanding of perspectives of ethnic churches and church leaders.
After the 2009 suicide of his daughter, Melissa, Page became an advocate for mental health and helping others through depression. In addition, he urged ministers to become trained in counseling those contemplating suicide. He wrote about his experiences in a book, Melissa: A Father’s Lessons from a Daughter’s Suicide, and made resources available on his personal website.
Words of thanks
Addressing Executive Committee members, Page thanked them for relationships built.
“You have been my dear friends to me these last eight years. You have served tirelessly beside me – advising, encouraging, challenging, and honoring my position as President and CEO of the Executive Committee,” he said.
“Most of all,” he added, “you have been prayer supporters in every way. I will never take that for granted. I thank God for what we have been able to accomplish in this time together. Pray for Dayle, my family, and me as we make this important transition.”