The nominee for executive coordinator for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship says it is a “tremendous time of change” for the organization.
Suzii Paynter, a longtime Baptist leader and the nominee, discusses both short-term and long-term priorities for CBF in a new Skype interview with EthicsDaily.com.
A significant short-term goal, Paynter says, is implementing recommendations from the 2012 Task Force report. She cites the “great work” of David Hull, pastor of First Baptist Church in Huntsville, Ala., and task force chair.
Task force recommendations include a new constitution, bylaws, governing board, missions council and more. These new developments will take place at the organization’s general assembly in June in Greensboro, N.C.
Paynter, who says she looks forward to jumping in with the implementation team working on the changes, adds that she wants to “begin to shape and understand and lead our community towards those very important changes that will change the face of CBF life in the years to come.”
She specifically cites a “more manageable governance structure” for CBF as an important change and one that will make the organization more “nimble and cooperative and collaborative.”
“We can reach out to our partners and our institutions, to our missions partners and to the greater denominational world in a more elastic way with a greater flexibility in our relationships,” she says.
For longer-term priorities, Paytner cites justice issues.
“One of the main things is the intersection between our missions and justice,” she says.
“A big part of my responsibilities up until this point has been in the area of justice,” says Paynter, a San Antonio, Texas, native. “I have a lot of contacts and a lot of important interfaith and ecumenical relationships in working on different issues.”
She cites the eight communities of mission in CBF: poverty and transformation; disaster response; internationals; church starts and faith sharing; justice and peacemaking; health care; economic development; and education.
She said CBF has the chance to impact these areas not only via hands-on missions, but also via advocacy.
“We can match the love and experience we’ve had in missions with an advocacy word and voice on the national level,” she says.
Paynter is currently director of the Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission and director of the Advocacy Care Center of the Baptist General Convention of Texas.
She was named the executive coordinator nominee for CBF on Jan. 17. The confirmation vote by the CBF’s Coordinating Council will take place Feb. 21.
Watch the interview with Paynter at vimeo.com/ethicsdaily/skype-suziipaynter
Learn more about Suzii Paynter and CBF at TheFellowship.info/paynter
Watch other EthicsDaily.com Skype interviews at vimeo.com/ethicsdaily