IMB trustees appoint 22 new missionaries, approve $282.7M budget


RICHMOND, Va. – International Mission Board trustees have approved the appointment of 22 additional missionaries to help take the gospel to the world and approved a $282,700,000 budget for next year.

IMB President Paul Chitwood also gave an update to Send Relief’s efforts regarding Hurricane Ian, which caused catastrophic damage in Florida on Wednesday and Thursday.

Send Relief is working closely with state Baptist disaster relief teams to provide water and other emergency supplies to those affected by the storm.

Chitwood said the teams will be prepared to serve 150,000 meals a day.

Send Relief is also deploying a rescue boat manned by a Swift Water Rescue Team to aid in search and rescue efforts.

Chitwood also updated trustees on other IMB business:

  • The 2021-22 Lottie Moon Christmas Offering has already surpassed the $200 million mark, making it the highest total in history by more than $20 million.
  • Southern Baptists gave more than $20 million this year through Send Relief, the compassion ministry partnership of IMB and the North American Mission Board. The total more than doubles the $7 million given last year through Send Relief.
  • IMB’s missionary candidate pipeline has hit 1,117, nearly a 400 percent increase over what it was four years ago.
  • Church Connections, the effort for every Southern Baptist church to be connected with an IMB missionary, is now fully launched with reports of new relationships being built with local fellowships.
  • The Ministry Advancement Team has grown from four members in 2018 to a team of 22 today to better serve faithful givers.
  • IMB’s Marketing and Communications Team, built in recent years, is leading an exponential increase in web and social media presence and creating new channels for digital engagement.
  • IMB’s Mobilization Team and Candidate Consultant Team for missionary assessment and deployment have grown to include significantethnic diversity, “both of which are important for us to live our mission statement of serving all Southern Baptists well,” Chitwood said.
  • Among its other seven affinities, IMB’s newly formed Asian Pacific Rim Affinity has a focus toward reaching its 2.3 billion people.
  • IMB has completed the external examination related to abuse and implemented an entirely new system of compliance training, volunteer qualifications and reporting requirements.

Chitwood said IMB has been working hard to strengthen relationships with Southern Baptists.

“From these relationships, I believe God will provide everything the IMB needs to help Southern Baptists steward the Revelation 7:9 vision,” he said. “We need more prayer. We need more financial resources. We need more missionaries. And we need more sending churches. All of these will come from fulfilling our mission statement which is to serve Southern Baptists in carrying out the Great Commission to make disciples of all nations. As we serve Southern Baptists and build and strengthen relationships with them, we will continue to see God rebuild their overseas missionary sending agency and maximize what we are able to do together.”

Twelve newly appointed trustees attended the meeting. They are: Allison Blessen, Massachusetts; Donald Cline, North Carolina; Tracie Griggs, Alabama; Marci Hare, Ohio; Sacha Hasenyager, Montana; Stephen Hayes, Arizona; Justin Lohmeier, Mississippi; Kristen Nichols, Georgia; Gregory Pickering, Texas; Mary Jane Schwarz, Texas; Tim Sheehy, Tennessee; and Shannon Wallace, North Carolina.

Trustees also elected Edward J. Herrelko III, Ph.D., as IMB vice president of marketing and communications. Herrelko joined the IMB staff in April 2021 as chief marketing and communications officer. The vote by trustees supports Chitwood’s vision to expand IMB’s marketing and communications efforts. Trustees will form a MarCom Committee to serve alongside the work directed by Herrelko.


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