Board hears from executive director search team leader

By Terry Barone on September 29, 2016

FRESNO — The California Southern Baptist Convention executive director search committee is working on their task, but is not close to making a recommendation, according to the chairman of the committee.

Montia Setzler, chairman and pastor of Magnolia Church in Riverside, said after the committee’s election their task has been to broaden its representation and dispel rumors about their work.

The first thing the group did was attempt to broaden the scope of the team “that is way too white and way too male.”

Setzler reported to members of the CSBC Executive Board, meeting Sept. 8-9, that four ethnic representatives were asked to join the committee, noting the Board’s bylaws allow “non-Executive Board leaders to serve as non-voting advisors/consultants to the search committee.” Those ethnic advisors/consultants are A.B. Vines, pastor of New Seasons Church in Spring Valley; Pete Ramirez, pastor of Iglesia Bautista White Road in San Jose; William Eng, retired pastor of Chinese Baptist Church of Orange County in Anaheim; and Raymond Lee, pastor of See World Baptist Church in San Diego.

Setzler told Board members the committee felt it was important to have statewide “listening sessions” and that originally three were planned.

“By the time we listened to everyone that wanted one, there were nine,” Setzler said. The committee continues to work on putting together a profile for the search, he added, noting that in addition to the advisors/ consultants, the committee has or will meet with key partners such as California Baptist University, California Baptist Foundation and Gateway Seminary.

Setzler joked that he “has heard some amazing things about what the committee has decided,” and said he wanted to clear up several misconceptions committee members are hearing. One is that the executive director is elected by the Convention during its annual meeting.

Setzler said that rumor is not true since the executive director is an employee of the Executive Board and is therefore elected by the Board.

Another misconception, according to Setzler, is that the committee has chosen the candidate to present at the annual meeting in October.

“That was a surprise to all of us!

“Without intervention of God’s Holy Spirit and help from secretaries, that isn’t going to happen,” Setzler declared.

Outlining scenarios for the timing of a candidate to be presented to the Board for election, Setzler said the earliest a candidate could be presented is at the January meeting.

“Our desire to find the right person for the position supersedes our desire to be done,” he asserted. “We will not present a candidate until we have arrived at consensus.

“My team’s desire is to come to you with an assurance that God has spoken, no matter how long that takes.”

The other rumor Setzler said he wanted to put to rest was the number of candidates the committee has interviewed.

“We have not interviewed a single candidate,” he stated, “but we are accepting resumes.”

Those wishing to submit a name to the search committee can do so by e-mailing CSBCSearchTeam@gmail.com.

The committee will make a brief report to messengers during the first plenary session at the CSBC annual meeting during the Tuesday afternoon at Russian Baptist Church in West Sacramento.

This Convention serves our culturally diverse congregations as we fulfill the Great Commandment and the Great Commission.