McLaurin is the first African American ever to lead an SBC entity, even in an interim capacity. He has expressed gratitude for the warm reception extended to him by entity leaders, pastors and Southern Baptists across the nation, and the EC’s unanimous affirmation of his appointment by EC officers.
“That unanimous affirmation by our trustees is a representation of a wide network of churches that are in the Southern Baptist Convention. Here’s what I’ve learned about Southern Baptists in this short time. They love Jesus, they love the church, they love each other, they have a heart to see lost people won to the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Humbling for McLaurin is the ability to serve as interim EC CEO in a convention birthed in the era of slavery.
“Even though we are a diverse convention, the vast majority of our brothers and sisters are Anglo,” he said. “I’ve been kissed by nature’s sun. And we are a convention that, for the 177 years of its history, was started out of slavery, if you would. So now, to have a descendant of a slave to lead in the convention, and to see just the openness and receptivity of all kinds of people has just been absolutely humbling.
“And it really is a direct reflection of what I see in the local church.”
During his ministry, McLaurin has served in interim pastorates at more than 15 churches, all of them majority Anglo.
“And so, I’m not surprised by the response I’m getting from the larger convention,” McLaurin said, “because on a regular basis for the past 18 years, I’ve had the privilege of serving in churches that the majority doesn’t look like me. … I’ve been really, really encouraged by that, very hopeful for the future.”
This article originally appeared on BaptistPress.com.