ERLC hires five new staff members during trustee meeting

By Staff
Sep 11, 2013

WASHINGTON—During its annual gathering of trustees, the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention named three executives and two additional staff members Sept. 11: Phillip Bethancourt, Daniel Patterson, Daniel Darling, Joe Carter and Trillia Newbell.

Bethancourt, a native of Texas and graduate of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, will lead the ERLC as executive vice president. He previously served as associate vice president of enrollment management and student life, as well as an assistant professor of Christian theology, at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

“A proud Texan and an even prouder Aggie, Phillip Bethancourt is one of the most dynamic leaders I’ve ever known,” said Russell D. Moore, president of the ERLC. “Having served with excellence as an associate vice president at Southern Seminary, Dr. Bethancourt has demonstrated a truly amazing track record for innovation and creativity, along with a deep burden to see the kingdom of God transform people, families and churches. He has served in ministry to college students, at the great Central Baptist Church in College Station, Texas, and as a popular professor at one of our SBC seminaries, in addition to his expertise in business and finance. Moreover, Dr. Bethancourt is committed to connecting with congregations and pastors, addressing real issues of spiritual warfare across our ecclesial landscape. I cannot imagine anyone more perfect to serve alongside me in this critical role.”

Patterson will join the ERLC as chief of staff, after serving as Moore’s executive assistant and assistant editor of The Southern Baptist Journal of Theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

“Daniel Patterson, a native Tennessean, serving as my chief of staff is a blessing from God,” said Moore. “Patterson has what the Scriptures said of David, ‘integrity of heart and skillfulness of hand.’ He is a convictional leader, with the organizational genius to carry out vision to reality. As a lifelong Southern Baptist, Daniel knows and understands our churches, our heritage and what the 21st century will demand in terms of gospel fidelity. Married to the daughter of career missionaries, Daniel’s family is deeply committed to connecting the ethics of the kingdom to the mission of Christ, and he has has served in college ministry at Belle Aire Baptist Church in Murfreesboro, Tenn. I am thrilled that he is joining me at our ERLC.”

Darling, a well known Christian communicator and pastor, will join the ERLC as vice president of communications.

“In the search for a new communications vice president, we prayed for a leader who could connect gospel vision to church need with creativity and depth,” Moore said. “Dan Darling is that man. Having served as a pastor, the author of multiple books and articles, and a regular contributor to Leadership Journal and other media, Darling understands the old-time religion and the new media landscape. He cares about the kingdom vision God has given us here at the ERLC, and I can’t wait to unleash his dynamic skill on our task of articulating old truths to a new day.”

Carter will take on the role of director of communications at the ERLC, having written for First Things, The Gospel Coalition and The Acton Institute.

“I first encountered Joe Carter’s writings years ago, and immediately sensed a kindred spirit,” Moore. “He’s a committed Southern Baptist with a long track record of thoughtful engagement with the most crucial issues facing our world and the church. As the years have gone by, I’ve been even more deeply amazed by his intellect and his courage. Joe Carter is a man with gospel in his heart, his gut, and his spine. I am so thrilled by his joining our team as communications director that I can hardly contain my excitement.”

Newbell, a writer on faith and family, will serve the agency as consultant for women’s initiatives.

“Trillia Newbell is a walking testimony of the power of the gospel to transform,” said Moore. “She was a secular journalist, committed to a ‘pro-choice’ understanding of abortion rights. Then she met Jesus. Since then, God has used her phenomenal writing and journalistic gifts to speak out for the lives of the unborn, for a Christian sexual ethic, and for those who are trafficked, abused and exploited.”

The Southern Baptist Convention is America’s largest non-Catholic denomination with more than 15.8 million members in over 46,000 churches nationwide. The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission is the SBC’s ethics, religious liberty and public policy agency with offices in Nashville, Tenn. and Washington, D.C.

- END

To request an interview with Russell D. Moore or other ERLC staff members,

contact Elizabeth Bristow at (615) 782-8409,

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