N. C., Okla. pastors enter race for SBC presidency

Clint Pressley, senior pastor of Hickory Grove Baptist Church in Charlotte, and Mike Keahbone, senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Lawton, Okla., will both be nominated for president of the Southern Baptist Convention during this summer’s SBC annual meeting in Indianapolis, Ind.

In a news release emailed to the Biblical Recorder on Jan. 21, Chris Justice, senior pastor of Lee Park Baptist Church in Monroe, N.C., said he plans to make the nomination for Pressley when Southern Baptists gather for the annual meeting June 11-12 at the Indiana Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis. California pastor Victor Chayasirisobhon announced his intention to nominate Keahbone in a Jan. 30 release.

Pressley nomination

“Clint Pressley loves the Southern Baptist Convention and the mission that holds us together,” Justice said. “I know him to be a man of conviction who is joyfully orthodox, devoted to the Great Commission, and committed to our cooperation as Southern Baptists.”

According to Annual Church Profile and Baptist State Convention of North Carolina records, Hickory Grove reported 69 baptisms and averaged 2,632 in worship attendance in 2023. The church reported $9,680,234 in total undesignated receipts in 2023, with $232,089 (2.4 percent) given through the Cooperative Program. Hickory Grove also gave $244,664 to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for international missions and $73,026 to the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American missions.

Pressley has previously pastored churches in Mississippi and Alabama. He has also served in a variety of leadership roles in Southern Baptist life, which include vice president of the SBC Pastors Conference in 2013, first vice president of the SBC from 2014-2015, and as a trustee for Southern Baptist Theological Seminary since 2015. He currently serves on the board of directors for the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina.

Keahbone nomination

“Mike Keahbone is the real deal, a leader who loves the Lord, loves the SBC, and strives every day to make it better,” Chayasirisobhon said. “Mike led student ministries for more than two decades before spending two years as a full-time evangelist speaking at local churches throughout the country, as well as multiple camps including Falls Creek, and state evangelism conferences.” 

The last completed year on record with the Annual Church Profile is 2022. During that year, FBC Lawton received $1,401,565 in undesignated receipts and gave $88,057.87 (6.28 percent) to the Cooperative Program. The church also gave $45,762 to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and $18,337.94 to the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering in 2022.The church recorded 623 people in average weekly attendance in 2023 and 54 baptisms, according to the church staff member.

Keahbone has served as a member of the SBC Executive Committee since 2021 and is the vice chairman of the SBC’s Abuse Reform Implementation Task Force. He was a member of the Sexual Abuse Task Force. He served on the Oklahoma Baptist Board of Directors from 2015-2021, serving as vice president from 2017-2021.

SBC Registration

Pre-registration for the 2024 SBC Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, June 9-12, is now open for messengers and/or childcare at sbcannualmeeting.net. The meeting is expected to be highly attended, as a new SBC president will be elected and messengers will vote for the second time on a constitutional amendment regarding women pastors. Reports will also include those studying the impact of the Great Commission Resurgence as well as the Cooperation Group, which is currently developing recommendations.

— Compiled from BP news releases.