SBC pres. Frank Page elected to 2nd term
JAX pastor nominates 1st VP
Published June 21, 2007
SAN ANTONIO (BP)—In an unopposed race for president of the Southern Baptist Convention, Frank Page, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Taylors, S.C., was elected to serve a second term.
Messengers to the nation's largest non-Catholic denomination with 16.3 million members voted unanimously to give Page a second term on the first day of the 150th session of the SBC annual meeting in San Antonio June 12-13.
After the ballot had been cast, Page thanked messengers for the opportunity to serve another term.
"I will serve for yet another year so that somehow I might bring glory to our Lord to lift high His name; to continue to attempt to bring us together for the task of world missions and evangelization," Page said. "I will not back up, back down, back away from that which God has called and that in which we must be involved."
At the 2006 SBC annual meeting in Greensboro, N.C., Page was elected over Ronnie Floyd, pastor of First Baptist Church in Springdale, Ark., and Jerry Sutton, pastor of Two Rivers Baptist Church in Nashville, Tenn., with a majority vote of 50.48 percent.
Jim Richards, founding director of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention, was elected as first vice president and Eric Redmond, pastor of Hillcrest Baptist Church in Temple Hills, Md., as second vice president.
Richards prevailed over David Rogers, a missionary in Madrid, Spain, with a vote total of 2,177 (68.7 percent) to 966 (30.5 percent).
"Jim Richards, who is executive director of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention, is one of us," said Mac Brunson, pastor of First Baptist Church in Jacksonville, in his nominating speech. "As leader of the SBTC, he has led that convention in eight years to grow from 120 churches to 1,895. He's not a bureaucrat; he's one of us."
Richards is a member of First Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas. He also has served as chairman of the SBC Christian Life Commission (now the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission) and the SBC Committee on Order of Business in addition to other associational, state and national Southern Baptist organizations. He holds degrees from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary.
Just days before the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in San Antonio, Ben Cole, a controversial blogger and major critic of the Southern Baptist Convention leadership, June 7 was discovered to have advised Rogers on answers to a questionnaire put forth to candidates by the Florida Baptist Witness newspaper and published online at www.FloridaBaptistWitness.com.
The Witness learned Cole, pastor of Parkview Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas, made 57 changes to Rogers' answers tracked in the history of changes to the Microsoft Word document Rogers sent to the Witness. The nature of the changes ranged from single or several word replacements or deletions to the addition and deletion of sentences and paragraphs.
The changes made by Cole are labeled "Benjamin Cole" in the change tracking function of the word processing software and occurred over a period of 34 minutes, 10:35-11:09 p.m. on June 6. Rogers approved the changes and submitted his questionnaire to the Witness the following morning.
The questionnaire was sent to all of the candidates for first and second vice president—the only contested SBC officer races. The questionnaire and related articles are accessible on the Witness website in the 2007 Special Reports Section under the heading "2007 SBC: San Antonio" in the subsection "2007 SBC Annual Meeting Preview."
Redmond was elected with a vote of 1,765 (61.69 percent) to 1,077 (37.64 percent) over evangelist Bill Britt of Gallatin, Tenn.
Redmond serves as a trustee for Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and an executive board member of the National African American Fellowship of the SBC. He is an adjunct professor of hermeneutics at Capital Bible Seminary in Lanham, Md. He is also a member of the Evangelical Theological Society.
Messengers also re-elected John L. Yeats, interim pastor of Ridge Avenue Baptist Church in West Monroe, La., as recording secretary and Jim Wells, director of missions for the Tri-County Baptist Association in southwest Missouri, as registration secretary. Both men ran unopposed.
Yeats, who has served in ministry for 36 years, has been the SBC recording secretary since 1996 and is also the director of communications for the Louisiana Baptist Convention. Wells, registration secretary for the SBC since 2002, is a member of Hopedale Baptist Church in Ozark, Mo.