EDITOR’S NOTE: Baptist Press will be releasing in-depth interviews with each of the known candidates to be nominated as SBC president at the Annual Meeting in Anaheim. We released our interview with Tom Ascol on May 2, Bart Barber on May 3, and Robin Hadaway on May 4. The interviews have been edited only for clarity, grammar and length.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP) – Though he’s a busy senior professor of missions at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Robin Hadaway will be somewhat of a hometown presidential candidate when the SBC Annual Meeting takes place in Anaheim this summer. Hadaway and his wife, Kathy, live in nearby Oceanside, Calif., where he pastored before they became International Mission Board missionaries.
“I just felt we need to focus on the mission,” Hadaway told Baptist Press when asked why he would be nominated. He’s been committed to the mission for his entire ministry career, serving for 18 years as an IMB missionary, 18 years at MBTS, and six years as a pastor of a local church.
Hadaway, 73, is calling for the planting of 500 new churches in North America, 2,000 new church plants overseas and a new emphasis on chapters of the Woman’s Missionary Union in churches.
“The Southern Baptist Convention president, he has no pay, no power, but he does have some influence during those two years, and I think he can set the tone for the convention,” Hadaway said.
We sat down to talk with Hadaway on April 27 on the bustling campus of Midwestern Seminary just before the seminary’s final chapel session of the spring semester.
Why are you willing to be nominated to be president of the SBC?
Well, I had never thought about being nominated for SBC president. But when Ed Litton declined to run a second term and the convention was in Anaheim, I thought that I might have the opportunity to serve Southern Baptists in this way.
I have had the honor and privilege of working for the denomination for 36 years, 18 as an IMB missionary and 18 as a seminary professor and counting. Now I’m a senior professor. I did pastor for six years and was very involved in the Conservative Resurgence when I was pastoring.
So, I followed the denominational patterns throughout my ministry, and while I was with the IMB.
I just felt that we needed to focus on the mission. Not that we haven’t been focusing on the mission, but I just wanted to call out the called because I never thought about being a missionary when I was a student at Dallas Seminary and then at Southwestern.
It wasn’t until my wife and I went to Glorieta for Foreign Missions Week that we heard somebody talk about the need for people to leave their pastorates and go overseas. So even though we were already pastoring in a mission field in California, we stayed there four years before we went overseas, we just felt this call to go to an unreached part of the world, to northwest Tanzania.