October 25, 2007 Publishing Good News since 1884 Volume 124 Number 38

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Daytona Beach nominations declared: Pastors' conference nominee Clayton Cloer


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OVIEDO (FBW)—Dwayne Mercer, pastor of First Baptist Church in Oviedo and former president of the Florida Baptist State Convention, will nominate Orlando pastor Clayton Cloer as president of the 2008 Florida Baptist Pastor's Conference at this year's conference Nov. 10-11 in Daytona Beach. Cloer has served as pastor of Central Florida Baptist Church for four years.

Mercer, pastor of the 3,000-member Oviedo congregation, said he and Cloer share a passion for evangelism and missions. Both First Baptist Oviedo and Cloer's Central Florida Baptist send hundreds of volunteers on mission trips around the world and annually baptize hundreds of new believers.

"Dr. Cloer has a real heart for God," Mercer told Florida Baptist Witness. "He has baptized over 1,000 people in the last four years."

Mercer also spotlighted Central Baptist's part in starting "one of the largest Spanish missions in the Orlando area."

Cloer was licensed and ordained by Utica Baptist Church in Seneca, S.C. He is a graduate of Clemson (S.C.) University and Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Germantown, Tenn. While a student at Mid-America, he traveled as a Southern Baptist evangelist and also worked as director of development and communications and director of student services at the seminary. Cloer also served as special assistant to Mid-America Seminary President B. Gray Allison.

The 38-year-old and his family moved to Orlando in 2003 from Memphis, where he was pastor of Kirby Woods Baptist Church and also served as adjunct professor at Mid-America Seminary. Since beginning his tenure at Central Florida Baptist, the church has regularly ranked as one of the leading Florida churches in baptisms. The church encompasses six different language communities and averages 1,400 in worship attendance.

Cloer and the former Linda Abercrombie were married in 1990, and they have two sons, Nathan and James.

"I really think that he will bring a lot to the table as the president of the pastors' conference because he has so many contacts out in Tennessee and here, and he knows a lot of good pastors and evangelists. I just think he'll put together a great program. Everything he does seems to be with a real sense of excellence," Mercer said.

Cloer told Florida Baptist Witness he is "humbled that a man of God like our Brother Dwayne Mercer would be so led of the Lord to nominate me.

"My heart staggers at the stewardship of such a calling. Our pastors are precious to us all. It would be a great privilege to serve them," he said. "May Jesus receive any and all the glory."

Officer election at the annual gathering of pastors will take place Monday, Nov. 11 at 3:10 p.m. at First Baptist Church in Daytona Beach.

—With reporting by Joni B. Hannigan.