Arkansas pastor Ronnie Floyd will be nominated for president of the Southern Baptist Convention at the SBC annual meeting this June, seminary president R. Albert Mohler Jr. announced Feb. 20.
Floyd has “unparalleled experience as a leader among us, an unquestioned commitment to the Great Commission, and he has demonstrated an unstinting urgency to unite Southern Baptists around our shared beliefs, mission, and programs,” Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., wrote in an open letter to Southern Baptists stating his intention to nominate Floyd at the SBC annual meeting in June.
During the 27 years Floyd has led Cross Church in northwest Arkansas, it has become “one of the most evangelistic, visible and innovative congregations in our convention,” Mohler wrote. The church encompasses campuses in Springdale, Rogers and Fayetteville.
Highlighting Floyd’s support for Southern Baptists’ Cooperative Program channel for funding missions and ministries internationally, nationally and in each state, Mohler wrote:
“Over the last several years, Ronnie Floyd has led his church to become one of the convention’s leading contributors toward the Cooperative Program. Last year, Cross Church contributed over $700,000 to the Cooperative Program. What makes that giving even more remarkable is that Cross Church increased its giving during a time of economic stress in the nation. Ronnie Floyd led the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force for our denomination , and when that task force called for Southern Baptists to demonstrate a bold commitment to increasing giving through the Cooperative Program, Ronnie Floyd took that vision home to his church, and the church has responded with great generosity and a vision for missions at home and around the world.”
In addition to the GCR Task Force, whose wide-ranging report included a call for international missions to receive 51 percent of all Cooperative Program gifts, Mohler noted that Floyd is a former chairman of the SBC Executive Committee and was a member of the SBC’s Program and Structure Task Force during the mid-1990s. That task force produced The Covenant for a New Century restructuring that streamlined the number of SBC entities to nine from the former 12 and set forth updated ministry assignments for each SBC entity.
Mohler noted: “… when Southern Baptists have asked Ronnie Floyd to serve, he has always answered that call with visionary leadership and an eagerness to serve the denomination he so clearly loves.”
Floyd’s nomination is the first to be announced for the June 10-11 annual meeting in Baltimore. The new SBC president will succeed New Orleans pastor Fred Luter of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church, who became the first-ever African American to lead the SBC when he was elected in 2012.
“Fred Luter has led us so well as he has unified and inspired us,” Mohler wrote. “Our next president needs to unify and inspire us for our next steps together.”
Floyd, as “a visionary and a unifier,” will help “keep us united and focused on our shared task — to mobilize a denomination of churches in service to the Great Commission. He will maintain a constant vision of Southern Baptists going, sending, and giving so that the nations will rejoice in Christ.”
For the full text of Mohler’s letter in behalf of Floyd, go to FloydNomination.pdf.
Floyd has been a key organizer of two pastor/leader prayer gatherings that each drew participants from nearly 30 states in recent months — a Jan. 13-14 meeting in Atlanta attended by 400 pastors and leaders and a Sept. 30-Oct. 1 meeting in the Dallas-Fort Worth area attended by 175-plus pastors.
Floyd, in comments to Baptist Press after the Atlanta gathering, said God is “raising up a generation of pastors who are biblically based, theologically balanced and spiritually empowered” and who are committed to seeing revival and awakening.
In seeking the “manifestation of the presence of God in our midst,” Floyd noted, “God can do more in a moment than we can do in a lifetime. Therefore, we must pursue Him and experience His presence powerfully so that we can lead the church to do the same. As the church is coming alive and experiencing the power of God, we believe that America will begin to see spiritual awakening in various places. This is absolutely imperative so we can reach the world for Jesus Christ.”
Floyd also has served as general editor for the updated and enhanced version of “Bible Studies for Life,” LifeWay’s most popular Bible study curriculum series, released last fall. The series is used in an estimated 30,000 churches, reaching more than 1.5 million people. Floyd led an advisory team of pastors and ministry leaders from across the nation to help design the new material from a church perspective.
He is the author of 10 books, including “Our Last Great Hope: Awakening the Great Commission” (2011) and “The Power of Prayer and Fasting” (2010). His wife Jeana is the author of two books: “10 Things Every Minister’s Wife Needs to Know” (2010) and “An Uninvited Guest: One Woman’s Journey from Cancer to Hope” (2007).
The Floyds, who have been married 37 years, have two married sons and six grandchildren.
— Art Toalston is editor of Baptist Press.