Above: Retired Kentucky Baptist pastor Dan Summerlin is scheduled to be nominated to serve as transitional interim president and CEO of the SBC Executive Committee at the EC’s meeting on Sept. 19 in Nashville. (Kentucky Today file photo)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)—A recently retired Kentucky Baptist pastor will be nominated to serve as the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee (SBC EC) transitional interim president and CEO this week in Nashville. The nomination of Dan Summerlin will be a joint recommendation of Philip Robertson, EC chairman, Jonathan Howe, current interim and the EC officers.

“Dr. Dan Summerlin is a proven leader with four decades of service at many levels of Convention life,” said Philip Robertson, EC chairman, in a statement.

Summerlin recently retired from serving as the senior pastor at Paducah, Ky., Lone Oak. He served in the role for 21 years.

“He has the administrative skills we need, a stellar reputation across the landscape of the SBC, and the relational acumen needed to represent the EC in our cooperative efforts as a Convention during this interim period,” Robertson said.

According to 2022 Annual Church Profile information, Lone Oak collected $4,109,702 total undesignated receipts, with $348,668 (8.5 percent) given through the Cooperative Program. The church also gave $162,410 to the 2022 Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and an additional $38,251 to the 2022 Annie Armstrong Easter Offering.

“He is a champion of the Cooperative Program and a friend to many across our Convention,” Robertson said.

Summerlin will serve in the role in a full-time capacity beginning Oct. 1, if approved by the trustees.

According to a statement from the EC, legal counsel completed vetting of Summerlin, including:

  • criminal background check,
  • national sex offender registry search,
  • verification of his resume credentials, such as education, past employers and licenses, professional certifications, primary and secondary references,
  • local church verification Cooperative Program.

Summerlin holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Alabama, and M.Div. and Th.D. degrees from New Orleans Seminary.

In addition to pastoring at Lone Oak, Summerlin has pastored churches in Alabama and Mississippi. He served as the president of the Kentucky Baptist Convention (KBC) from 2012-2013.

“I cannot imagine a better person to serve as the Interim President/CEO for the SBC Executive Committee at this critical time than Dr. Dan Summerlin,” said Todd Gray, KBC executive director-treasurer.

“Dan is a wise, thoughtful and patient leader who can be trusted to provide steady leadership in challenging times,” he said.

Jonathan Howe has been serving in the role since Aug. 17, after the surprise resignation of Willie McLaurin, who left the post after admitting to falsifying education credentials. Howe will return to the role of vice president for communications.

According to EC bylaws, the trustees are charged to hire an interim leader, which has typically been one of the vice presidents of the EC.

“Jonathan Howe has served well as our interim CEO these past few weeks,” Robertson said in a statement. “I am very grateful for his willingness to return to his crucial vice-presidential role and to support Dr. Summerlin as interim CEO for the greater good of the EC and the SBC.

“Jonathan’s decision speaks loudly to his desire for unity and to his care and concern for our Convention,” he said.

Howe said he is looking forward to returning to his permanent role.

“In these past few weeks, it has been a pleasure to serve as interim president,” Howe said in a statement. “I have a deeper appreciation of anyone who holds this important position within the Convention and am honored by the ongoing trust of the officers and members to serve and support the staff and Dr. Summerlin as interim president.”

The SBC EC meeting Sept. 18-19 in Nashville, Tenn.