Suzii Paynter is the Executive Coordinator of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, a Christian network comprised of people and churches that partner in renewing God's world.
This "denomi-network," as Paynter refers to it, is a diverse community that includes nearly 1,800 congregations, thousands of individuals and dozens of partners all over the world. CBF supports a wide range of missions and ministries that give people meaningful opportunities to put their faith to action, including a network of over 100 field personnel ministering in more than 30 countries as well as congregation-focused efforts to enhance the leadership of clergy and laity.
Prior to joining CBF in March 2013, Paynter served in executive management of the Baptist General Convention of Texas (BGCT) as the director of the Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission and as director of the Advocacy Care Center. Paynter directed public policy initiatives for state and federal issues and led international relief and development projects. During her tenure at the BGCT, which spanned more than a decade, Paynter focused on creating and managing large-scale programs that focus on ministering alongside and advocating for the least of these.
Over the past decade, Paynter has gained a national reputation for her advocacy on important ethical issues such as religious liberty, hunger and poverty, human trafficking, immigration reform and the environment. She has been recognized by numerous national religious and secular organizations such as the Sierra Club, American Association of Retired Persons and Samaritan Counseling Centers.
In 2013, the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty honored Paynter with the J.M. Dawson Religious Liberty Award. Paynter's work has also been highlighted on television programs such as Moyers in America, and in print publications such as the Wall Street Journal and The New Yorker. In April 2014, Paynter was invited to the White House, where she discussed immigration reform with President Obama and a small group of faith leaders in the Oval Office. In September 2015, Paynter was included in the group of national faith leaders that celebrated visit of Pope Francis in Washington, D.C., where she discussed issues of global hunger, religious liberty and climate change with faith and political leaders.
Currently, Paynter serves on the board of Christian Ethics Today, is a member of the executive committee of the Baptist World Alliance and chairs its Human Rights Advocacy Committee.
A nationally recognized faith leader and ordained deacon and Sunday school teacher of more than 40 years, Paynter has held positions of leadership in Baptist churches in Texas, Kentucky and Mississippi. She has served these congregations alongside her husband, Roger Paynter, who retired in 2014 from the senior pastorate of First Baptist Church of Austin, Texas.
Watch Paynter's introductory video
Previous Executive Coordinators