Suzii Paynter of Austin, Texas, became the third executive coordinator of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship following a unanimous vote by the CBF Coordinating Council on February 21, 2013. She began work at the Fellowship's Atlanta office on March 1.
Previously, Paynter served as the director of the Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission and director of the Advocacy Care Center of the Baptist General Convention of Texas (BGCT). Paynter directed all public policy initiatives for state and federal issues and formed relationships with other religious bodies. In addition, she oversaw church outreach, the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering, community care ministries of restorative justice, anti-human trafficking, hunger and poverty, healthcare ministries, the Texas Baptist chaplaincy program and Texas Baptist counseling services.
As a leader at the BGCT since 2001, Paynter envisioned, created and managed large-scale programs and projects that focused on ministering alongside and advocating for the least of these. Her experience and accomplishments reflect her commitment to the missional and cooperative work of Baptists at all levels – local, state, national, regional and international, as well as ecumenical and interfaith ministry.
Over the past decade, Paynter has gained a national reputation for her advocacy on important ethical issues such as religious liberty, hunger and poverty, environmental justice, human trafficking and immigration reform. She has been recognized by religious and secular organizations nationwide ‒ North American Association of Christians in Social Work, Baptist Center for Ethics, Sierra Club, Samaritan Counseling Centers, American Association of Retired Persons and the Criminal Justice Coalition. Paynter’s work has been highlighted on television programs, including Moyers on America, and in print publications, such as the Wall Street Journal and The New Yorker.
An ordained deacon at First Baptist Church, Austin, Texas and Sunday school teacher of more than 40 years, Paynter, who grew up at Trinity Baptist Church in San Antonio has consistently held positions of leadership at Fellowship churches in Texas, Kentucky and Mississippi where she has been a member. She has served congregations alongside her husband, Roger Paynter, who is pastor of First Baptist Austin and teaches at the Seminary of the Southwest.
Watch Paynter's introductory video
Previous Executive Coordinators