Southern Baptist Missions Leader Clint Clifton Dies in Plane Crash

By Jonathan Howe
clint clifton
Clint Clifton and his wife, Jennifer. (Photo via Facebook)

Southern Baptist Convention missions leader Clint Clifton, on staff at the North American Mission Board (NAMB), died in a plane crash in Dawson County, Ga., late Thursday evening. NAMB president Kevin Ezell announced the tragic death on Friday.

According to the Dawson County News, “at about 9:12 a.m. on Jan. 13, the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office E-911 Center received a call reporting a possible plane crash near the wildlife management area’s Shoal Creek and Dawson Forest roads, [Dawson County Sheriff Jeff] Johnson said. He later clarified . . . that the crash occurred in the evening of Thursday Jan. 12 but was not reported until the morning of Jan. 13.”

Clifton was the only person in the plane and was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.

Ezell announced the loss to the NAMB family in an email saying “God generously gifted Clint in so many ways. He had a pastor’s heart and was a talented church planter with a passion for reaching people for Christ. He loved what we do here at NAMB and poured his heart and life into it…We miss him already and he leaves a void that can’t be filled.”

“Our team is stunned by this loss,” said Trevin Wax, NAMB Vice President for Research and Resource Development. “Clint was a gifted leader who loved pouring his life into mentoring and resourcing church planters. His passion for the kingdom was always on display, and he devoted ceaseless energies into seeing pastors strengthened and equipped for mission.”

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NAMB is the domestic missions agency of the Southern Baptist Convention, the nation’s largest Protestant denomination. 

Clint and his wife, Jennifer, had been married since 2000 and had five children: Noah, Ruthe, Isaiah, Betchina and Moses. Clint served in several ministry positions throughout the Southeast prior to planting Pillar Church in Dumfries, Va., where he served as an elder.

This article originally appeared at Baptist Press and is reprinted with permission.

Jonathan Howe is vice president for communications at the SBC Executive Committee.

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5 thoughts on “Southern Baptist Missions Leader Clint Clifton Dies in Plane Crash”

  1. Not everyone may be interested in this data, but as a retired air traffic controller I find it interesting. Normal rate of descent for a Cherokee should be around 500-1000 feet a minute. You will see the last 3 readouts (which covered about 1 minute of flight time) the aircraft was descending at 2,154 ft per minute; 5,657 ft per minute; and 8,824 ft per minute.

    https://flightaware.com/live/flight/N4254T/history/20230113/0134Z/KCNI/L%2034.36081%20-84.13765/tracklog

    I will be interested in reading the NTSB report.

    1. I am a retired pilot, and looking at the data Todd posted, it looks like he stalled the aircraft and was unable to recover. The question then is why did he stall the aircraft. Structural or equipment failure, spatial disorientation, medically incapacitated, or intentional. It’s a sad story.

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