RICHMOND, Va. (ABP) — Former Missouri Baptist Convention executive director David Clippard, who earned national headlines when he said Islam has a plan to "conquer and occupy" the United States, was hired Dec. 10 by the Southern Baptist Convention's International Mission Board to enlist churches to spread the gospel to non-Christians worldwide.
According to a news release from the International Mission Board, Clippard will serve as managing director of the IMB’s church services team. He will use his new position to urge all Southern Baptist churches to reach the world’s 6,000 unreached people groups, the release said. He is especially interested in involving young pastors in the outreach.
“Many of them have a vision for reaching the world; they just don’t quite know how to get their arms around it,” he said in the release. “We’ve got more ability and more passion in our churches than we’ve ever tapped into. We’ve got to release that pent-up energy that’s in the pews to take the gospel to the ends of the earth.”
Clippard won national attention in 2006 when he preached a sermon to the Missouri convention claiming the “real threat” to the United States is that “Islam has a strategic plan to conquer and occupy America.”
He claimed the Saudi Arabian government paid for 15,000 Muslim college students to come to North America to study and funded scores of Islamic study centers and mosques here with the intention of taking the continent for Islam.
Hired in 2002 as the MBC executive director, Clippard was fired on April 10 by a 44-7 vote of the MBC Executive Board.
He was terminated after divisions within the convention's Executive Board and within the state’s conservative ranks emerged regarding leadership styles, spending and real estate. He had earlier settled a gender discrimination and intimidation lawsuit involving convention controller Carol Kaylor and had been charged with having an “autocratic and dismissive” leadership style.
Clippard, who has also worked with the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma and Evangelism Explosion International, spent much of his tenure at the Missouri convention working with projects involving El Salvador, Romania, Iraq and Turkey. He previously served Sarasota (Fla.) Baptist Church as pastor.
The IMB release said that Clippard had led Missouri Baptists to add 342 new churches while executive director.
(Word&Way editor Bill Webb contributed to this report.)