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IMB trustees elect VP of marketplace endeavor

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) -- Scott Holste has been elected as vice president for global strategic mobilization for the International Mission Board.

Holste, who was elected during the May 22-23 meeting of IMB trustees in Nashville, Tenn., will direct a new initiative with Christian leaders in business and marketplace professions across the world.


Trustees also approved 101 missionaries for overseas service, 41 of whom have served previous missionary terms, bringing the current IMB missionary count to 4,919. The appointees were recognized during a service May 23 at Brentwood Baptist Church in Brentwood, Tenn.


Holste's goal will be to mobilize business leaders and marketplace professionals whose global experience and connections place them in a position of access to difficult-to-reach people groups across the globe.

Marketplace professionals include Christians living or traveling overseas, as well as students preparing for careers such as international business, medicine and law. They are in natural positions for global missions involvement, Holste said.

More than two-thirds of Southern Baptist missionaries serving overseas encounter some geopolitical-access restrictions, he said.

"A solution to these significant, growing challenges fills our pews," he said. Marketplace professionals "intersect with other professionals in the workplace, where they naturally form relationships."

Holste begins serving in his new role May 26. Since 2009, the Florida native has been IMB's associate vice president for global strategy.

He and his wife Janie were appointed as missionaries to Asia in 1987, subsequently moving to Richmond, Va., in 1997 as missionaries-in-residence. In 1999, he joined IMB staff as director of global research. From 2005-09, he served as associate vice president for IMB's research and strategic services.


Southern Baptist business leaders from across the United States will participate in a "think tank" with IMB leaders May 31 in Dallas to further develop the initiative which is based on the first-century model of church planting when the Gospel spread along Roman roads of commerce.

"There are business leaders who have expressed eagerness to move out of the pew and step up to the challenge," IMB President Tom Elliff said. "Many have asked to join us in carrying the Gospel to every language, people, tribe and nation. In some instances, they are already in areas we have yet to reach.

"The fellowship of business leaders and their involvement in completing task will complement the effective work of our personnel already in place around the world."


David Steverson, IMB vice president for finance, reported on financial statements for 2011.

Total income in 2011 was down $42 million from 2010. "Almost every category in the 2011 financial statement is less than the year before," he said.

Receipts for the 2011 Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions will be tabulated after its financial books close May 31.

During the trustee meeting, national WMU president Debby Akerman presented a check for $10,706 to the Lottie Moon offering on behalf of two annual endowments, honoring "the longstanding support that women within those families gave to missions and the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering," she said.



During his president's report, Elliff encouraged trustees to "live a crucified life," drawing from John 12 in the New Testament.

Christians are to "die to self and our agendas, obsessions, plans, selfish desires and little, insidious sins that seem to capture us," Elliff said, noting that the only way to spiritual progress is saying, "Lord, it isn't about me. It's about You."

"The path to an effective future for IMB does not begin with a bucket load of great ideas," said Elliff, reminding trustees of God's exhortation to King Asa in 2 Chronicles 16:9, "but with hearts that are perfect toward God. It is only when we die to self that we can clearly see the plans God has for us."


Trustees elected new officers for 2012-13: chairman, David Uth, pastor of First Baptist Church in Orlando, Fla.; first vice chairman, Richard Landry, a physician from Trinity Baptist Church in Lake Charles, La.; and second vice chairman, John Edie, executive pastor of Second Baptist Church in Springfield, Mo. Jana Brown, a retired schoolteacher from Peavine Baptist Church in Rock Spring, Ga., was re-elected recording secretary.

Nine trustees were honored for completing terms of service: David Button of New York, Norman Coe of Kentucky, A.C. Halsell of Texas, Elizabeth Harris and Tim Locher of North Carolina, Robert E. Jackson of Alabama, John Keith of Utah/Idaho, Richard Thompson of Oklahoma and Simon Tsoi of Arizona.


The next trustee meeting will be Sept. 11-12 in Ridgecrest, N.C., during emeritus recognition week at LifeWay's Ridgecrest Conference Center. A missionary appointment service is scheduled Sept. 12 at First Baptist Church in Hendersonville, N.C.

Kate Gregory is an International Mission Board writer/editor. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook ( and in your email (

Copyright (c) 2012 Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press

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