Charleston pastor heads slate of state convention officers

South Carolina Baptist Convention messengers elected officers on Wednesday morning during the final session of their 197th annual meeting at Shandon Baptist Church in Columbia.

Each officer was elected by acclamation and without opposition. Officers began their terms of service at the conclusion of the annual meeting.

Marshall Blalock, pastor of Charleston First Baptist Church, who was chosen president-elect at last year’s meeting, will serve as SCBC president. His theme for the coming year is “Building Bridges.”

Bryant Sims, pastor of First Mt. Moriah Baptist Church in Greenwood, was named president-elect. He will serve alongside Blalock in the coming year and will assume the office of president of the convention at the conclusion of next year’s annual meeting in Charleston.

Other officers for 2018 include: Mike Runion, pastor of City View First Baptist Church in Greenville, first vice president; Josh McClendon, pastor of Philippi Baptist Church in Johnston, second vice president; Frances Miller, member of Hulon Baptist Church in Batesburg, recording secretary; and David Dinkins, pastor of Center Baptist Church in Hemingway, registration secretary.

The unofficial messenger count for this year’s annual meeting was 611, down from last year’s 756. The messengers represented 311 of the SCBC’s more than 2,100 churches.

Outgoing president Keith Shorter, pastor of Mt. Airy Baptist Church in Easley, grew emotional while reporting that 11 people accepted Christ during Tuesday’s “One Day” missions and ministry projects, which were held across Columbia. In all, 457 people fanned out across the city to serve at one of 24 different locations. “Eleven people stepped over from death into life,” Shorter told messengers.