Augie Boto to retire from SBC Executive Committee
    July 24 2019 by Art Toalston, Baptist Press

    D. August “Augie” Boto has announced he will retire from the Southern Baptist Convention’s (SBC) Executive Committee (EC) effective Sept. 30.
     
    Boto, the EC’s executive vice president and general counsel, notified EC President and CEO Ronnie Floyd of his retirement in a July 18 letter.
     

    Submitted photo
    D. August “Augie” Boto has announced he will retire from the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee as executive vice president and general counsel effective Sept. 30.

    His retirement brings his service “full circle,” Boto told Baptist Press, having joined the EC as a member in 1995, the same year Floyd began his 1995-1997 service as EC chairman.
     
    Boto, 68, joined the EC in 1998 as vice president for convention policy, moving to executive vice president and general counsel in 2007.
     
    He served as EC interim president and CEO from April 2018 until Floyd assumed office May 20 after his April 2 election at a special EC meeting in Dallas, coming to the office after nearly 33 years as senior pastor of Cross Church in northwest Arkansas.
     
    Boto was honored for his 13-month interim role amid his 21 years on the EC staff by a resolution of appreciation adopted during the EC’s June 10 meeting prior to the SBC annual meeting in Birmingham, Ala.
     
    Floyd told Baptist Press, “I have known Augie for many years and appreciate his close walk with the Lord, his deep commitment to his family, his active involvement in his local church, and his love for the Southern Baptist Convention. He is a Christian gentleman and a godly layman of the highest order. He ably led the Executive Committee as interim president during a challenging year in Southern Baptist life.
     
    “When Augie began discussing his retirement plans with me, I asked him to continue working alongside me through the September Executive Committee meeting, something he graciously consented to do,” Floyd said. “I know many others join me in expressing gratitude to the Lord for his 21-year investment in Executive Committee leadership and pray God’s blessings on him and Cindy as they begin the next chapter in their lives together.”
     
    In the letter to Floyd regarding his retirement, Boto wrote that “it has been a genuine pleasure working with you since you were selected to lead the Executive Committee as its president.”
     
    “Renewing our personal friendship has again brought back the pleasant feelings and memories that attended my first involvement with you and the EC over 24 years ago,” Boto wrote. “It has greatly encouraged me that a pastor of your stature and accomplishments was selected, but it is even more pleasing that you cherish the SBC, its pastors, its people, its entities, and its Cooperative Program as I do.”
     
    Boto continued, “In examining all the ways I might be of help to you and the future of the Executive Committee, I have come to the conclusion that stepping aside in retirement from my work is the best one. This will provide you with the maximum flexibility in reorganizing and re-tasking the EC staff along lines you believe will be most fruitful.
     
    “When I have thought about retirement, it has been a subject causing mixed emotions. Southern Baptists, and particularly the EC staff, are like my family, and the Executive Committee offices have become a home of sorts,” Boto wrote. “... Nevertheless, please be assured that if called upon, I will always be happy to be of service to you, and to Southern Baptists, though perhaps in other places, but certainly in ways intended to be harmonious with your stated objective of helping the Convention better accomplish its Kingdom mission.”
     
    Prior to joining the Executive Committee staff, Boto served as administrative counsel for the Texas District and County Attorneys Association and had been elected as Cooke County prosecutor and helped start the Texas Fellowship of Christian Prosecutors.
     
    At First Baptist in Dallas under the ministry of the late W.A. Criswell, Boto began attending the church at age 13 with his family and later became a deacon and Sunday School teacher in the young married division. He also was among the church members involved in the Conservative Resurgence to return the SBC to its biblical heritage.
     
    He made a profession of faith in Christ at age 7 at Magnolia Avenue Baptist Church when his family lived in Riverside, Calif. He was born in St. Charles, Mo.
     
    His late grandfather, T.W. Medearis, served as executive director of the Missouri Baptist Convention from 1942-1954; as a pastor in Missouri, Oklahoma and California; and as interim president of California Baptist College (now University).
     
    Boto holds juris doctor and undergraduate degrees from Baylor University. He and his wife have been married nearly 40 years and have three grown children, Lucas, Matt and Grace.
     
    In comments to Baptist Press, Boto noted, “Though my assignments at the Executive Committee may be drawn to a close by my retirement, after a short sabbatical period I expect the Lord will have other things for me to do with and for Southern Baptists, for they are ‘my crowd.’ The vast majority of my happiest times and fondest memories have always come from activities with family –- my wife, kids, parents and siblings (my ‘blood’ relatives) – and my broader church and denominational family (my ‘blood of the Lamb’ relatives).”
     
    Southern Baptists, he added, “care that people know and follow Jesus, and believe that having a relationship with Him is the only thing that really matters.”
     
    The full text of Boto’s letter to EC President and CEO Ronnie Floyd follows.
     
    July 18, 2019
     
    Dr. Ronnie W. Floyd
    President, Executive Committee of the SBC
    901 Commerce St.
    Nashville, TN  37203
     
    RE: Retiring
     
    Dear Dr. Floyd,
     
    First of all, let me say that it has been a genuine pleasure working with you since you were selected to lead the Executive Committee as its president.  Renewing our personal friendship has again brought back the pleasant feelings and memories that attended my first involvement with you and the EC over 24 years ago.  It has greatly encouraged me that a pastor of your stature and accomplishments was selected, but it is even more pleasing that you cherish the SBC, its pastors, its people, its entities, and its Cooperative Program as I do.
     
    In examining all the ways I might be of help to you and the future of the Executive Committee, I have come to the conclusion that stepping aside in retirement from my work is the best one. This will provide you with the maximum flexibility in reorganizing and re-tasking the EC staff along lines you believe will be most fruitful.
     
    When I have thought about retirement, it has been a subject causing mixed emotions. Southern Baptists, and particularly the EC staff, are like my family, and the Executive Committee offices have become a home of sorts. That being the case, it is almost impossible to avoid sentimentality when one goes through an exercise that involves a degree of separation. Said another way, situationally moving can be very emotionally moving. I know you have recently experienced very similar emotions in your transition.
     
    Nevertheless, please be assured that if called upon, I will always be happy to be of service to you, and to Southern Baptists, though perhaps in other places, but certainly in ways intended to be harmonious with your stated objective of helping the Convention better accomplish its Kingdom mission.
     
    Not wanting to draw out the process to any great length, please know that a retirement date of September 30th (which falls soon after the next Executive Committee meeting) will be fine with me so long as you believe it will not be disruptive. I can assure you I will attend to my assignments until then, or however long you think my work should continue.
     
    Knowing the challenges before you are great, but also knowing we both serve a God Who is omnipotent and sovereign, and One Who has long ago put things in place for our present good and for His eternal glory, I pledge to be praying with you for the Convention, and for you as you begin and continue your time as the president of its Executive Committee.
     
    Sincerely,
     
    D. August Boto
    Executive Committee executive vice president and general counsel
     
    (EDITOR’S NOTE – Art Toalston is senior editor of Baptist Press.)





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