Through the years I've had to make many hard decisions as the executive director of UBA, but none has been harder than the one I've just made.
Almost thirty years ago God led my family to Houston, Texas and I began working with Union Baptist Association. I’ve had the privilege of serving in many capacities--initially as a therapist and later as the executive director of the UBA Center for Counseling, as the associate director of UBA and for the past nineteen years as the executive director of UBA.
Through the past thirty years I have watched our city grow and diversify. Today Houston is one of the largest metropolitan regions in the US trailing only New York, Los Angeles and Chicago … but not for long! The Houston metro region is the most ethnically and culturally diverse with over 220 different languages spoken and more than 350 different ethnolinguistic people groups represented in our region.
Along with our city UBA has grown and become more diversified. Today there are nearly 600 churches affiliated with UBA. Once UBA was an English-speaking, Anglo only association. Today one-third of our churches are Anglo, one-third are African-American and one-third speak a language other than English. We are diverse in size, style of worship, music … any way you can measure it we are diverse!
UBA is a recognized leader in Baptist associational life. We are the largest and, many think, the most influential association in Southern Baptist life today. In addition to the work the UBA staff does every day with our churches, we also work with other associations, state conventions, national and international missions organization.
There is no association in the country like UBA. I am proud to have invested the majority of my professional life in the work of UBA.
Now the time has come for me to step aside and allow the association to transition to the next generation of leadership. Consequently, I have announced my plans to retire March 31, 2018. This will allow the association time to find a new executive director and transition to new leadership efficiently and effectively.
I strongly encourage you to pray for the Executive Director search committee which will be announced at the Quarterly Associational Meeting, May 11, 2018 and continue to pray for them as they do their work.
Over the next few months I’m sure you will hear me say this many times, but let me say it first here … thank you for the privilege of serving you in this role and for the support of our churches as we continue the important work we do together.