Diverse slate of officers to lead SBC in 2018-2019

J.D. Greear, pastor of The Summit Church in the Raleigh-Durham, N.C., area, was elected the 60th president of Southern Baptist Convention during the 2018 SBC annual meeting in Dallas.

Greear will lead a diverse slate of officers including A.B. Vines, pastor of New Seasons Church in San Diego, first vice president; Felix Cabrera, pastor of Iglesia Bautista Central in Oklahoma City, second vice president; John Yeats, executive director of the Missouri Baptist Convention, recording secretary; and Don Currence, minister of children and administration at First Baptist Church in Ozark, Mo., registration secretary.

Greear, 45, who was nominated by Ken Whitten, pastor of Idlewild Baptist Church in Lutz, Fla., received 5,410 votes, for a 68.62 percent margin.

Also nominated for president was Ken Hemphill, an administrator at North Greenville University in South Carolina and former president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. He was nominated by Brad Jurkovich, pastor of First Baptist Church in Bossier City, La., receiving 2,459 votes, or 31.19 percent.

A total of 7,884 ballots were cast for president from the 9,467 messengers registered at the time. Fifteen ballots, or .19 percent, were disallowed.

Ronnie Floyd, pastor of Cross Church in northwest Arkansas, nominated Vines as first vice president. “Dr. A.B. Vines understands and knows the Southern Baptist Convention and is ready to serve,” Floyd said.

Also nominated as first vice president was Mike Gonzales, a staff member with the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention, by Juan Sanchez, pastor of High Pointe Baptist Church in Austin, Texas.

Vines garnered 4,364 votes — or 67.15 percent — to Gonzales’ 2,120 votes — or 32.62 percent.

In addition to Cabrera, nominees for second vice president were Jerry Drace, an evangelist from Jackson, Tenn., and Randall Forsythe, pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Portage, Ind.

Cabrera received 2,173 votes, for 58.83 percent; Drace, 1,035 votes, 28.2 percent; and Randall Forsythe, 479 votes, (12.97 percent). Seven ballots (.19 percent) were disallowed.

Ed Litton, pastor of Redemption Church in Mobile, Ala., nominated Cabrera. As a leader of a church planting network, “Felix Cabrera is a multiplier,” Litton said. “The Southern Baptist Convention needs to multiply Felix Cabrera. We need more leaders like this.”

Yeats, who was nominated by Texas pastor Bart Barber, was elected recording secretary without opposition to the post he has held for 21 consecutive years. Currence, nominated by Missouri pastor Phillip Burden, was reelected to a second term as registration secretary without opposition.

Messengers elected Stephen Rummage, pastor of Bell Shoals Baptist Church in Brandon, Fla., to preach the convention sermon during the 2019 SBC annual meeting in Birmingham, Ala. Josh Smith, pastor of Prince Avenue Baptist Church in Athens, Ga., was elected as the alternate preacher and Gardner Pippin of The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, N.C., was elected convention music director.

— Barbara Denman is a writer based in Jacksonville, Fla.