Fermín A. Whittaker is the executive director of California Southern Baptist Convention. Since 1995, he has led about 100 Fresno-based and field staff to assist churches in reaching the diverse communities throughout California for Christ. He is responsible for the overall direction of Convention objectives in the areas of church starting, healthy churches and missions advancement to assist churches in their tasking of reaching people and developing believers. During his tenure as executive director, his rallying cry for California Southern Baptists has been to “reach every man, woman, boy and girl in California for Christ.”
He serves as the executive director of the Executive Board that is responsible for the business of the Convention between annual meetings. And, he serves as the principal staff advisor and assistant to all Convention committees.
A native of the Republic of Panamá, Whittaker is a product of Southern Baptist missions. He was saved in a Panamanian Baptist church under the leadership of a Southern Baptist missionary. He moved to the United States where he received a bachelor or arts degree from California Baptist College (now California Baptist University) in 1969 and an honorary doctor of divinity degree in 1997. Whittaker received bachelor of theology and master of divinity degrees from Toronto Baptist Seminary in Canada in 1964 and 1987, respectively. He received a doctor of ministry degree from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in Mill Valley, CA in 1992.
His ministry experience is vast serving as a summer missionary for the Southern Baptist Convention’s Home Mission Board (now North American Mission Board). He served as a pastor in the Los Angeles area and as a Southern Baptist home missionary in California until taking a leadership position with HMB in 1977. During his 18 years at the HMB, Whittaker served as assistant director of the Language Missions Division, as director of the Ethnic Church Growth Department, and as a regional coordinator in the Planning and Finance Section.
He has preached evangelistic crusades in the United States and in several other nations, has been a guest lecturer at several Southern Baptist seminaries, and been involved in local denominational and civic affairs.
He and his wife, Carmen, have two grown sons, two granddaughters and three grandsons.
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