Distinguished Alumni Award
After nearly six years as executive coordinator of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF), Suzii Paynter is serving as co-director of Pastors for Texas Children. CBF is a fellowship of Baptist Christians and 1,800 churches who share a passion for the Great Commission of Jesus Christ and a commitment to Baptist principles of faith and practice. Pastors for Texas Children mobilizes the faith community for public education, support and advocacy.
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. She also received the T.B. Maston Award for Christian Ethics in 2017.
Paynter was ordained to Gospel ministry by Austin Heights Baptist in Nacogdoches, Texas. She is on the Duke Divinity School Board of Advisors, 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.