Published August 9, 2012
WASHINGTON (BP) — Richard Land, who led the transformation of the Southern Baptist Convention’s ethics entity during the denomination’s conservative resurgence, has announced he will retire next year after a quarter of a century of service as its head.
Land’s retirement as president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) will be effective Oct. 23, 2013, he announced in a letter July 31 to the acting chairman of the entity’s board of trustees. His retirement is scheduled to take place 25 years from the date he assumed the ERLC’s presidency in 1988.
Land, 65, has acted as an outspoken advocate among Southern Baptists for biblical positions on such issues as the sanctity of human life, religious freedom, marriage, and race relations. His staunch efforts during his tenure also have made him a leading evangelical Christian voice among social conservatives in this country’s escalating cultural battles. Time Magazine named him in 2005 as one of America’s 25 most influential evangelicals.
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