I want to share an important announcement with you about the future of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors. I was elected as the Executive Director of our association in 2012. Since then it has been a delightful and a full six years. Together we worked to change the name of our organization. We also worked to expand and strengthen the Standards of Doctrine and Standards of Ethics for our organization. And over the years we have seen record-breaking numbers in our conference attendance, membership enrollment, and supporters for our mission.
As full and wonderful as the last six years have been, it has also become clear over the last several months that I need to make a change. Last August I was elected as the Senior Pastor of the First Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida. I knew at the time that would mean a change in my responsibilities at ACBC. I went to the board and shared this concern and they appointed a committee to work with me on how my responsibilities would change as I sought to lead First Baptist and ACBC. That plan to reformulate my responsibilities, though, was not as successful as I had hoped it would be. Over the last several months it has become clear that my responsibilities have spread me too thin. I know what ACBC needs. They need a leader who can offer 100% of their energies to expand our growing organization. I know what 100% looks like for me and I have not been able to give it. And so I went back to the board and expressed my concern that I was spread too thin and that I was not serving as well as I needed to and said that it was time for me to change my responsibilities.
Over the last several months I have been working with a committee of the board, consisting of me and four other members, to find my replacement as the Executive Director of ACBC. We engaged in a nationwide search that quickly lead us to a wonderful candidate that we recommended unanimously to the board for their consideration. I am thrilled to tell you, that on March 27, the board overwhelmingly voted to approve Dr. Dale Johnson as the next Executive Director of ACBC. Dr. Johnson is a remarkable man and is the perfect leader for ACBC. He is a professor of biblical counseling, he is a member in good standing of ACBC, and he holds our theological and ethical commitments with conviction and grace. He is absolutely the right choice to lead our organization into the future.
And so I want to explain to you how the leadership will transition from me to Dr. Johnson. On May 1, Dr. Johnson will be hired in a part-time capacity at ACBC as the Executive Director Elect. He’ll work with me on a transition that will be smooth and will prepare him for the large job he has ahead. In October we will formally install Dr. Johnson as our Executive Director at our annual conference in Fort Worth, Texas.
With that in mind I want to let you know about two things. First, I want to encourage you to be in attendance at our annual conference in Fort Worth, Texas. This is going to be a time of encouraging our membership in the crucial issue of abuse and how biblical counseling relates to that. And now we know it’s going to be the time when we install Dr. Johnson as our next leader. The second thing I want to let you know is that you need to be in prayer for Dr. Johnson and his family. He is getting ready to assume a remarkable set of responsibilities and I know you’ll want to join with me in praying for him. And so I’m looking forward to seeing you in October in Fort Worth, Texas. It’s going to be my last opportunity to greet you as Executive Director of ACBC, and even more importantly than that, it’s going to be our opportunity together to welcome the leader of our organization that God has raised up to take us into the future and I can’t wait to see you there.