via California Southern Baptist Convention

FRESNO, Cali.—Fermín A. Whittaker, executive director of California Southern Baptist Convention since February 1995, announced May 13 he will retire March 1, 2017 after completing 22 years of service.

In his announcement to the CSBC Executive Board during its regular spring meeting, Whittaker said that since his early call to ministry “I have known the blessings of being a servant of God. I find it amazing that God could take a stuttering kid like me and me a pastor of His church.

“I’ve served Him in Panama, Canada and Georgia. But for the past 21 years He has allowed me to lift His name and proclaim ‘every man, woman, boy and girl’ as a rallying cry for California Southern Baptists to reach our state and world for Jesus. I have been blessed by our God.”

Whittaker also thanked Board members for allowing him to serve and for their support and prayers in reaching the world in California.

“But, now it is time for new beginnings for me and for our great Convention,” he said.

Noting that he and his wife, Carmen, are in the “process of moving to Southern California.” Whittaker said he would “complete my service with the Convention by commuting to Fresno.”

In challenging the Board, Whittaker encouraged members to call a new head “who will lead California Baptists to fulfill our purpose of serving churches as they fulfill their mission of winning their communities and the world to Jesus.”

He also encouraged the Board to call a “man who will keep the `main thing the main thing’ as he leads our great Convention to new frontiers.”

When Whittaker retires, he will have completed 22 years of ministry, the longest tenure of any CSBC executive in the 76-year history of the Convention. He succeeded C.B. “Bill” Hogue, who retired after 10 years. Both served with the Home (now North American) Mission Board in Atlanta before assuming the California post.

After his announcement to the Board After his announcement an eight-member search committee will be elected today to recommend Whittaker’s successor.

Read more about Whittaker and his tenure as CSBC executive director.

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