N.C. pastor with ties to S.C. university elected SBC president

North Carolina pastor Clint Pressley was elected SBC president June 12 in an election that began with six candidates and required two run-off ballots.

Pressley, senior pastor of Hickory Grove Baptist Church in Charlotte, N.C., received 4,244 votes (56.12 percent). Spencer, senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Sevierville, Tenn., received 3,305 votes (43.71 percent). A total of 7,562 votes were cast with 13 disallowed.

The second run-off was required when the three-way run-off Tuesday evening (June 11) did not garner a candidate 50 percent of the vote. In that ballot, Clint Pressley received 3,300 votes (39.01 percent); Dan Spencer received 2,600 votes (30.46 percent); and Mid-America dean David Allen received 2,577 votes (30.19 percent). Of the 8,537 votes cast in first run-off, 30 were disallowed.

Chris Justice, senior pastor of Lee Park Baptist Church in Monroe, N.C., nominated Pressley.

“We all know it,” Justice said as he began his nominating speech. “This is a significant moment, and in this moment I believe we need a leader who loves our convention deeply and is committed to the mission that holds us together. I’ve known Clint Pressley for 25 years. Clint Pressley is a man of conviction. Clint Pressley is a leader of courage. Clint Pressley is a pastor committed to our cooperation as Southern Baptists.”

Justice said Pressley is “indebted” to Southern Baptist churches, people, and seminaries where he earned degrees and “crystallized his convictions as a conventional and a confessional Baptist.”

But Justice said Pressley has also “invested” in the Southern Baptist Convention through his service in various convention roles and has “a proven history of planting and revitalizing churches and sending and supporting missionaries” as well as in mentoring other pastors.

“Clint Pressley loves our convention, and he loves being involved and helping other Southern Baptist pastors,” Justice said.

Pressley has been senior pastor of Hickory Grove Baptist Church in Charlotte, N.C., since 2010 and is a member of the board of directors for the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. He served as vice president of the 2013 SBC Pastors’ Conference and first vice president of the SBC from 2014-15. Since 2015, Pressley has been a trustee for Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, with a stint as chairman. He has pastored churches in Mississippi and Alabama.

According to the 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 holds a bachelor’s degree from Wofford College, Spartanburg, S.C., an M.Div. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, and is pursuing a D.Min. from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Pressley and his wife, Connie, have two sons.

Pressley won over the six candidates that entered the race on Tuesday evening (June 11) in a first ballot that counted 8,970 votes with 15 disallowed.

The results of the first ballot were Clint Pressley with 2,289 votes (25.52 percent); David Allen with 1,896 votes (21.14 percent); Dan Spencer with 1,585 votes (17.67 percent): Bruce Frank with 1,396 votes (15.56 percent); Mike Keahbone received 868 votes (9.68 percent); and Jared Moore received 921 votes (10.27 percent).

— Marilyn Stewart writes for Baptist Press.