In a year when the Southern Baptist Convention focused on “Restoration & Revival Through Prayer,” Arkansas pastor Ronnie Floyd, who has sought to encourage Southern Baptists to deepen their spiritual walk through books, Sunday School studies and pastor prayer meetings, has been elected as the Southern Baptist Convention’s president.
Floyd, pastor of Cross Church in northwest Arkansas for 27 years, topped fellow nominees Maryland pastor Dennis Manpoong Kim and Kentucky pastor Jared Moore to win the SBC post June 10 in Baltimore.
The new SBC president succeeds New Orleans pastor Fred Luter of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church, who became the first African American to lead the SBC when he was elected in 2012.
With 5,001 registered messengers and 3,553 ballots cast, Floyd received 1,834 votes, or 51.62 percent. Kim, pastor of Global Mission Church of Greater Washington in Silver Spring, Md., received 1,446 votes or 40.70 percent while Moore, pastor of New Salem Baptist Church in Hustonville, Ky., received 210 votes or 5.91 percent. Moore is the current second vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Floyd was nominated by Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr. Kim and Moore were placed in nomination, respectively, by Texas pastor Dwight McKissic of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Arlington and Bennie Smith, a deacon at the Kentucky church where Moore is pastor.
Mohler, in his nomination speech, said Floyd, 58, has “the Great Commission in his heart” and has been a leader “with peerless experience in the Southern Baptist Convention.”
Mohler noted Floyd’s service as president of the Pastors’ Conference; chairman of the SBC Executive Committee; participation on the denomination’s Program and Structure Committee; and, “most importantly,” as chairman of the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force (2009-10), which set forth wide-ranging recommendations for expanding the SBC’s missions outreach.
“He is a unifier and a denominational statesman. He knows the Southern Baptist Convention at every level, and he has served and led at every level,” Mohler said.
While chairman of the task force, Mohler said Floyd “bridged generations and institutional boundaries to forge a new commitment to reaching the world for Christ. As an immediate result of that leadership experience, Ronnie Floyd became convinced of the need to direct ever greater financial support to the world missions task.”
After his experience on the task force, Floyd steered his church to be one of the convention’s leading contributors through the Cooperative Program, “even leading his church to give more to the Cooperative Program during a time of national recession, contributing more than $700,000 last year alone,” Mohler said.
“We need a man of that commitment and leadership now as president of our beloved convention — a man who models the message.”
Mohler said Floyd “will lead all Southern Baptists, and he will lead us well. He is a bridge-builder who unites us theologically and stands in a direct line of noble leaders who have defended the inerrancy of Scripture and every doctrine of our Baptist Faith & Message.
“At this crucial hour, we Southern Baptists desperately need a leader who can model convictional compassion and compassionate conviction — who can articulate our message in the midst of most trying times — and represent us all as the world around us turns upside down…. He will stand without compromise, articulate with clarity, and lead us with confidence.”
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SOURCE: Baptist Press
Barbara Denman is the Florida Baptist Convention’s director of communications. Tim Ellsworth of Union University in Jackson, Tenn., and Todd Deaton of Kentucky Baptists’ Western Recorder contributed to this article.