Southern Baptist Convention leader Richard Land has announced he will step down early to take over as head of a North Carolina organization that focuses on defending the faith.
Land said last summer that he would step down as head of the SBC's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission in October, when he would have marked 25 years in that position.
The Huffington Post reports
that Land will begin a new position as leader of the Southern Evangelical Seminary in Charlotte this July.
“My goal is to join with the SES family to produce an ever increasing number of graduates who will be the green berets and paratroopers of God's army, and who will be used by him to win tremendous victories for Christ and his kingdom," said Land.
The seminary was founded in 1992 by seminary professor and apologist Norman Geisler, and Ross Rhoads, who was pastor of Calvary Church in Charlotte. The school now has about 300 students, and plans to expand further into online education under Land.
Apologists argue on behalf of Christianity to evangelize and defend the faith. The seminary will likely be a good fit for Land, who is well known for his often-argumentative, controversial style as an SBC leader.
Last year, the Baptists reprimanded Land for making comments about race and the Trayvon Martin shooting in Florida.
In addition, Land was accused of lifting passages from other sources for his radio commentaries.
ELRC trustees last month picked Russell Moore, dean of the school of theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Center, to serve in Land's seat.
Moore says he plans to speak “with civility and with kindness and in dialogue with people with whom I disagree.”
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