David Platt elected president of Southern Baptist International Mission Board

Meredith Flynn —  August 27, 2014

David Platt, preaching at the 2014 Southern Baptist Pastors’ Conference in Baltimore

BREAKING NEWS | Trustees of the Southern Baptist International Mission Board have elected David Platt to succeed Tom Elliff as the agency’s president. More than 4,800 missionaries serve around the world through the IMB, the world’s largest evangelical, denominational missions agency.

Platt, author of the bestselling book “Radical” and a popular conference speaker, is known for his intense preaching and focus on authentic discipleship. The 36-year-old currently is pastor of The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Ala.

Due to an online mix-up, his election was announced prematurely, causing some confusion in the Southern Baptist blogosphere. The SBC Voices blog made light of it, offering a sequence of updated headlines and finally landing on “David Platt is the New IMB President (It’s Official NOW!??!).”

A video message and letter from Platt to his congregation was posted immediately on Brook Hills’ website after the official vote was announced.

“We talk all the time about laying down a blank check with our lives before God, with no strings attached, willing to go wherever He leads, give whatever He asks, and do whatever He commands in order to make His glory known among the nations of the earth, particularly among people who have never heard the gospel,” Platt said.

“Over these past months, God has made it abundantly clear to both Heather and me that He is filling in that blank check in our lives and family with a different assignment. Along the way, God has used the elders of our church to affirm His call, and today He used the leadership of the IMB to confirm it.”

David Uth, chairman of the search committee who recommended Platt, said the new IMB’s new president will be instrumental in mobilizing the next generation of missionaries.

“I think the missionary force, the young people God is calling … represent one of the greatest forces in Christian history right now,” Uth said in an interview after Platt’s election.

“While the world is becoming more hostile and anti-Christian in some places, it’s as if [young missionaries’] passion is growing equally to go to those hard places. That’s where we hear young couples saying they want to go, that they want to be radically obedient to what God has called us to do for the nations. The passion is there. How do we equip them and resource them? How do we incorporate strategy that’s effective? David is going to address that in a way that’s going to bring maximum impact.”

Meredith Flynn


Meredith is managing editor of the Illinois Baptist newspaper.