My family and I moved to Louisville, KY in 1996 to assume a position at Southern Seminary. Those were eight wonderful years for all of us. During that same time, we also had the joy of being members of Highview Baptist Church, sitting under the pastoral ministry of Dr. Kevin Ezell. During that time all of us came to greatly love and respect Dr. Ezell as a wonderful man of God and a tremendous leader who would take Highview Baptist Church to heights she had never known before. Two of my sons serve with Kevin today as a part of the pastoral staff. Both greatly love and respect their pastor and mentor.
Words are not adequate to express how excited I am that Dr. Ezell will be the new president of NAMB. This is truly a great day for Southern Baptists and especially the North American Mission Board. Why am I convinced this is a wonderful thing for our convention of churches? Let me share several reasons.
First, Kevin and his wife Lynette live out the Great Commission. In addition to their three biological children, they have adopted three others from China, Ethiopia, and the Philippines. Their love for the nations is not something they merely talk about. It is something they live!
Second, he is an incredible leader who knows how to recruit, inspire, motivate, and implement. I saw this first hand when living in Louisville. Kevin will build a great team and foster a healthy culture at NAMB.
Third, he is theologically conservative, balanced and fair. He gladly affirms the BF&M 2000. Now, anyone who knows Kevin knows he is not a classic Calvinist. They should also know that Al Mohler has gladly called Kevin his pastor since 1996! Kevin is not a Calvinist and therefore he does not have a Reformed agenda. At the same time he is not paranoid about Calvinism. He is not afflicted with Calvinophobia, and doesn’t see a Calvinist lurking behind every bush ready to highjack the SBC back to Geneva! He will gladly and effectively work with anyone with a passion for the lost and a heart to serve the unreached and underserved regions of North America.
Fourth, Kevin has led Highview in aggressive church planting in North American and passionate missions to the nations. I believe he will work well with the new leadership at the IMB and lead Southern Baptists to the most fruitful days of church planting in their history! 70,000 churches by 2020 may be more than a dream. It may become a reality!
Finally, Kevin is a team player who will reach out to all members of the Great Commission Council, the leaders of our State Conventions and those who serve in the trenches of our local associations. And most importantly, he is a local church man. The SBC will find in Kevin Ezell a friend and encourager who will challenge them and help them do great things for the glory of God.
This is a great day for Southern Baptists. This is a great move for the expanding of the kingdom of God and the renown of King Jesus in America. Kevin will have my prayers and full support as he takes on this awesome assignment. I am excited to watch what God does in and through this man for His great glory in the days ahead.