Originally addressed to the SES Board of Trustees:
As you know, in the ministry a call is a divine appointment for a season, or an interval, but it always has a beginning and an ending.
After nearly eight years as SES’s President and Professor of Theology and Christian Ethics, God has made it clear to me that my call to SES is coming to an end.
Consequently, I am writing to you to announce my retirement as president of SES, effective July 1, 2021, the eighth anniversary of my service as president.
I am informing you and the board of this now so that the board will have time to plan an orderly transition to new leadership. My decision to retire as SES’s president should in no way be interpreted as any diminution of my commitment to, and my belief in, SES ‘s vision for equipping generations of Christians to go forth and be used as God’s instrument to help lead America to experience the great spiritual awakening we must have to survive and flourish as a God-honoring nation.
As Dr. Geisler reminded us, SES ‘s motto is “to train trainers, teach teachers, and disciple disciplers so the cycle never ends.”
My prayers will continue to be with the SES family. I look forward to seeing what is the next chapter for SES. If and when I can be of any assistance to SES in the future, please do not hesitate to call on me.
For 49 ½ years my wife, a dedicated minister’s wife, the daughter, granddaughter and niece of Baptist preachers that I met in the seminary. She has willingly sacrificed her rightful needs to the ministry to which we together have been called.
In light of the very serious health crisis which confronted our family beginning last July (my son’s illness) the Lord has been convicting me that I need to give her and our son more of my time and assistance as a husband and a father in this next chapter of our lives.
I am indeed most grateful to the search committee and trustee board which called me to serve here in Charlotte. I have learned a great deal over these years and the opportunity to get to know Dr. Geisler in a more personal way was a special delight. Thank you for the opportunity to serve.
As I retire and move back to Nashville, I will also be waiting on the Lord to reveal to me where His next assignment is for me. One of the many wonderful things about the ministry is that you never completely retire. I am assured by colleagues in Nashville that there will be Southern Baptist congregations in middle Tennessee, northern Alabama, and central Kentucky who will be looking for interim pastors in the months and years ahead. If that is His plan, I will be delighted. There is nothing I enjoy more than preaching to the same people every week.
With fervent prayer for SES and my successor,
Dr. Richard Land, SES President