TYLER, Texas—Paul Powell, former president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Annuity Board, died Dec. 28 following a stroke earlier in the month. He was 83.
In addition to leading the Annuity Board (later renamed GuideStone Financial Resources) from 1990-97, Powell pastored Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler, Texas, 17 years; served as president of the Baptist General Convention of Texas in the mid-1980s; chaired Baylor University’s board of regents; and became dean of Baylor’s Truett Theological Seminary in 2001.
GuideStone President O.S. Hawkins, Powell’s immediate successor, called him “”a strong advocate for our participants throughout his tenure”” at the helm of Southern Baptists’ financial services entity.
“”He guided the Annuity Board with integrity and skill,”” Hawkins said in a statement. “”When we took over stewardship of this ministry, he was a trusted adviser and made the transition in leadership as seamless as possible. Our prayers and our hearts go out to his family during these days.””
Upon his retirement from the Annuity Board, the SBC Executive Committee adopted a resolution noting Powell “”provided excellent leadership, effectively sharpening the focus of Southern Baptist pastors on proper stewardship in preparing for retirement.””
Powell also “”effectively educated the Southern Baptist family concerning its responsibility for the care and provision for their pastors,”” the resolution stated.
Powell received a bachelor of arts degree from Baylor, a master of divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and honorary doctorates from four Baptist institutions.
The author of more than 50 books, Powell wrote in this 1998 book “”The Life Beyond”” that if he knew the date of his last night on earth, he would spend it saying goodbye to his “”personal treasures,”” loved ones and earthly body and “”then … spend some time looking forward in anticipation to the adventure of eternity.”” (BP)