PADUCAH –Messengers to today’s Kentucky Baptist Convention Annual Meeting approved a new slate of directors for Sunrise Children’s Services.
The KBC Committee on Nominations presented the candidates in response to the news in August that the board had been asked by Sunrise Children’s Home President Bill Smithwick to consider reversing the ministry’s hiring practice that excludes gays and lesbians.
The Sunrise board voted to sustain the agency’s hiring practice on Nov. 8 after an outcry from Kentucky Baptists across the state concerned that the child care ministry was straying from its biblical foundations.
Smithwick said his proposal was a pre-emptive move necessary to hang onto the $25 million the agency receives in state and federal funds to care for children removed from abusive and neglectful homes.
Six Sunrise directors were scheduled to rotate off the board. According to Bill Patterson, chairman of the committee on nominations, five others resigned, leaving 11 slots to be filled. He said some of the resignations were in response to Smithwick’s now-defeated proposal, but others left for reasons other than the issue.
Thirteen current members of Sunrise’s board remain.
New members of the Sunrise Children’s Services Board of Directors are:
- Corey Abney, pastor, Florence Baptist Church at Mt. Zion
- Rodney Cude, director of missions, Ohio River Baptist Association
- Tom James, pastor, Eastwood Baptist Church, Bowling Green
- Wesley Noss, pastor, New Hope Baptist Church, Versailles
- Jenny Oldham, member, Severns Valley Baptist Church, Elizabethtown
- Lange Patrick, member, Highview Baptist Church, Louisville
- William Price, member, First Baptist Church, Owensboro
- Dale Rose, member, First Baptist Church of Monticello
- Buddy Slaughter, pastor, Means Avenue Baptist Church, Hopkinsville
- Nathan Young, pastor, Mercy Hill Baptist Church, Shepherdsville
Messengers also approved KBC Executive Director-Treasurer Paul Chitwood as a member of the board. The KBC Mission Board has encouraged all affiliated agencies/institutions to include Chitwood on their boards.
by Dannah Prather, KBC Marketing and Media Relations Associate