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Tanner, William G. “Bill”comment (0)

June 21, 2007

William G. "Bill" Tanner, who served as president of the Southern Baptist Home Mission Board (HMB) from 1977–1986 and in multiple leadership roles throughout the Southern Baptist Convention, died June 10 in Belton, Texas. He was 77.

Tanner’s leadership of the HMB (now the North American Mission Board, NAMB) was marked by the beginning of the Mission Service Corps volunteer missionary program as well as an increased emphasis on language missions and strengthened partnerships between the national mission entity and state Baptist convention partners.

Geoff Hammond, NAMB president, expressed his gratitude for the legacy Tanner left for the home mission field.

"I am thankful for Dr. Tanner’s vision and foresight," Hammond said. "He saw an opportunity to greatly expand our home missionary force and he did so with Mission Service Corps. He saw the need to minister to the nations coming to North America and he greatly enhanced language missions."

Tanner also served as president of Mary Hardin-Baylor College (now the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor) in Belton from 1968–1971, president of Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee from 1971–1976 and executive director of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma from 1986–1996. He served as pastor of several churches earlier in his ministry. (BP)

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