Though neither NRB nor Johnson has stated a reason for the resignation, NRB board chair Michael Little said in a news release Johnson’s departure “leaves no question about his outstanding moral character.”
Johnson stated in his Feb. 12 resignation letter according to NRB’s release, “With conviction that my work as president and CEO is concluded at NRB, I hereby submit my resignation, effective March 1, 2019. It has been a joy to serve the NRB family for over five years. I hope and pray for God to bless them in the days ahead.”
Based in Washington, NRB is an international association of Christian communicators whose organizations represent millions of viewers, listeners and readers worldwide via radio, television and the internet.
Johnson has served in numerous leadership roles in Southern Baptist life, including president of Criswell College twice and administrative posts at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Little said Johnson, who has served as NRB president since 2013, “has led NRB well and his tenure has been marked by significant growth for our association in a number of ways…. Dr. Johnson’s departure from NRB leaves no question about his outstanding moral character. Given the days in which we live, I feel obligated to make this clear.”
Johnson, 54, was president of Criswell College from 2004-2008 before resigning amid controversy about the direction of the college and its relationship with First Baptist Church in Dallas. First Baptist founded the college and maintained ties through trustee selection. However, Criswell became independent of First Baptist, and Johnson returned as president from 2010-2013.
Between his two stints at Criswell, Johnson was Midwestern’s vice president of academic development. He served as dean of Southern’s Boyce College from 2002-2004. Prior to that, he pastored churches in Texas and Colorado.
Amid the Southern Baptist Convention’s Conservative Resurgence, Johnson was a trustee at Southern from 1989-1998, serving when R. Albert Mohler Jr. was elected president in 1993 and chairing the board from 1996-1998. Johnson chaired the SBC Committee on Order of Business in 2000 and 2001.
NRB’s board will meet during the NRB national convention in Anaheim, Calif., March 26-29 and “review plans for future leadership,” NRB stated.
NRB COO and executive vice president Troy Miller will assume senior administrative duties in the interim.