By Gary D. Myers
NEW ORLEANS (BP) — Frank Cox, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary trustee board chairman, updated the board on the status of the presidential search during their spring meeting, saying the committee had narrowed its focus to four top candidates.
The search committee, led by Cox, was formed last fall after Chuck Kelley announced his intention to retire on July 31, 2019. The committee encompasses 11 voting members — nine trustees, a faculty member, and a student.
Cox cautioned the board not to believe everything published on Twitter and Baptist-related blogs regarding the presidential search. The process is not complete, but the committee remains unified in identifying “God’s man” for the job, Cox said.
“We started with about 20 candidates — great people — all 20 of them. Some were more qualified than others,” Cox said April 17. “We went through all of the candidates and we narrowed the scope down to four.
“We have interviewed four tremendous people,” he continued. “We are still in the process. … [B]efore long we will have the person.”
Cox thanked the board for praying for the committee and allowing them to do their work without interference. He also addressed the rumor, by some, that Kelley sought to influence or direct the presidential search committee.
“I want you to know Dr. Kelley is not involved in the process,” Cox said. “He met with us for 30 minutes in our first meeting where he talked about his experience of being a candidate for president of New Orleans Seminary [during the last search].
“He has not told us how to conduct our process and he has not met with us again.”
Cox said the committee requests continued prayer as they seek God’s guidance and finish the task.
“We are just seeking God and doing our work,” Cox said. “We are on track and I just ask that you continue praying for us as we move forward to the conclusion.”
Gary D. Myers is director of public relations for New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.