A. Earl Potts: Former state convention exec. diescomments (2)
January 9, 2014
Alabama Baptists lost a giant Dec. 25 when A. Earl Potts, former executive director of the Alabama Baptist Convention State Board of Missions (SBOM), passed away. He was 93.
“I join the family of Alabama Baptists in mourning the passing of one of God’s great ambassadors,” said Rick Lance, current executive director of the SBOM. “His life was rich in relationships and he left an indelible impression upon us as Alabama Baptists with his legacy of leadership.”
A Randolph County native, Potts was a graduate of Samford University in Birmingham and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky. He was pastor of McElwain Baptist Church, Birmingham, before joining the ABSC as director of church ministries. Potts served as ABSC executive director from 1984 until his retirement in 1990.
Potts “brought wisdom and grace” to the position, Lance said.
“His wise leadership and his graceful servant heart were evident during those years as executive director,” Lance said. “Earl Potts was a salt and light type influence on people, pouring himself into the ministry of others in an intentional way.”
Troy L. Morrison, former SBOM executive director, agreed.
“He was one of the finest Christian gentlemen I’ve ever known. He represented graciousness, integrity and kindness in every aspect of his life,” Morrison said. “Even though his tenure (as state convention head) was short, he will be remembered as one of the greatest ever to fill that position.”
Over the course of his ministry, Potts served in various roles, including director of ministerial placement at Samford and an adjunct faculty member of Samford’s Beeson Divinity School.
He served in recent years on the Alabama Baptist Historical Commission.
He also wrote a book, “By the Grace of God: Memoirs and Recollections of an Alabama Baptist,” in 1997. A state convention academic scholarship also was named in his honor.
Potts is preceded in death by his wife, Louise, who died in 1984.
He is survived by a son, David, who is president of Judson College in Marion; and a daughter, Libby, who is married to Dale Peterson, minister of music at First Baptist Church, Auburn.