Gary Frost leaving NAMB post to lead New York City association

NEW YORK (BP)--Gary Frost, the North American Mission Board's vice president for strategic partnerships, has accepted a call to become executive director of the Metropolitan New York Baptist Association.

The move will become effective Feb. 1, pending approval by the association's mission partners -- the Baptist Convention of New York and North American Mission Board. He will be considered for appointment as a North American missionary in January.

In his position at NAMB, Frost has led efforts relating to both the Strategic Focus Cities initiative and relationships with associational directors of missions. Before coming to NAMB in 2001 he was actively involved in innovative urban ministry as pastor of Rising Star Baptist Church in Youngstown, Ohio.

"All three of those things tie exactly into who we are and what we're doing in New York," said Larry Brown, interim office administrator for the New York association and a member of the search committee. "Honestly, one of the key things that led us to that decision was the spiritual depth and leadership that we saw in Gary, which was confirmed by both executive leadership at NAMB and by contacts in Ohio."

The New Hope New York outreach effort, which will focus resources of Southern Baptists nationally on the city over the next two years, is one of the largest Strategic Focus Cities endeavors since the initiative was launched in 1998.

J.B. Graham, executive director for the Baptist convention of New York, said he is "delighted beyond words and all imagination" about the choice of Frost. "It's evident to me that this was the Spirit's moving for this time in our convention and in the metropolitan office," Graham said. "Having followed Gary's ministry since Ohio days, he has become a hero in my eyes."

Frost said his decision to accept the position was in obedience to what he believes is the clear call of God on his life -- and one that will place him closer to the front lines of ministry.

"This is an opportunity to be a bit closer to the direct implementation of NAMB's strategies," he said. "... I have been truly blessed by the opportunities of service here, but there's a tremendous pull on my heart toward New York City.

"Over the past two years," he added, "I've had the privilege of frequent visits to New York, and over that time I have come to appreciate the pastors and the leadership, working committedly there. Now I have the opportunity of joining them in their labor."

NAMB President Robert E. (Bob) Reccord called Frost a "dear friend" who -- along with his wife Lynette -- is "sold out" to the cause of leading others to Christ.

"I will miss the leadership and vision Gary brought to our leadership team at NAMB, but our friendship will continue as he steps out to take on this key role in New York," he said. "As he has shown with his leadership at Strategic Focus Cities, Gary has a heart for cities and a love for the people who live in them. I am confident God has some exciting days ahead for him as he moves to New York."

Prior to joining NAMB in early 2001, Frost served 18 years at Rising Star Baptist Church in Youngstown. He was actively involved as a leader in various aspects of community development and improvement. Those efforts included crime reduction programs, housing development and improvement of educational opportunities -- including leading the start of what is now the largest charter school in Ohio. During his pastorate Frost also served two terms as president of the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio, two terms as second vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention and eight years as a member of the SBC Executive Committee.

Frost is a graduate of Mount Union College, Central Bible College and Ashland Theological Seminary, where he received a master's in pastoral psychology.

The Frosts have six children, and also have served as foster parents for 48 children over the past 20 years.


(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: GARY FROST.

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