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Barber, J. Moore, Cass join list of nominees

Originally posted June 8, 2013.

HOUSTON (BP) — Texas pastor Bart Barber will be nominated for first vice president at the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting next week (June 11-12), while Kentucky pastor Jared Moore and Texas denominational leader Don Cass will be nominated for second vice president.

Barber, lead pastor of First Baptist Church in Farmersville, Texas, will be nominated by Steve Gaines, pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova, Tenn.

“He has faithfully served our Lord, local churches and our convention for many years in various capacities,” Gaines said of Barber in comments to the Southern Baptist TEXAN. “His church is committed to the Cooperative Program and to SBC missions. He is well-qualified to help our president, Dr. Fred Luter, as we all seek a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit and revival on our churches and our institutions. I pray that others will join in support of Pastor Barber’s nomination.”

Barber, 43, has led the Farmersville church since 1999, after serving pastorates across Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas.

According to Annual Church Profile (ACP) statistics, last year FBC Farmersville had an average Sunday School attendance of 292, with 10 percent of its undesignated giving directed to the Cooperative Program. The church also gave more than $33,000 to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.

FBC Farmersville has developed a presence among an unengaged, unreached people group in Senegal. Over the course of three visits, the church has seen 17 professions of faith among tribes that had no evangelical presence only a year ago.

Barber earned an M.Div. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1996, and continued there to earn a Ph.D. in church history in 2006. He served as an adjunct professor at Southwestern from 2006-09.

Currently, Barber serves as a trustee of Southwestern Seminary and was selected last year to chair the board’s academic administration committee. He also serves as vice chairman of the executive board of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention.

Barber also has served on the Southern Baptist Convention’s Committee on Committees.

Born and raised in Lake City, Ark., Barber came to Christ at the age of 5 and was called to preach when he was 11. He was ordained to preach and graduated from Baylor University in 1991 and married his wife Tracy a few months later. They have two children: Jim, age 10, and Sarah, age 6.

“I’m deeply moved by the confidence placed in me by Steve Gaines and, should they concur with him, by the messengers of the Southern Baptist Convention,” Barber said in response to the announcement by Gaines. “Any role I can play in carrying our cooperative mission work into the coming decades is something I can get excited about.”

Barber is on Twitter @bartbarber and blogs at www.praisegodbarebones.blogspot.com.

Jared Moore, second VP nominee

Moore, pastor of New Salem Baptist Church in Hustonville, Ky., will be nominated for second vice president by Jeff Wright, pastor of Midway Baptist Church in Cookeville, Tenn.

“Jared is passionate about the gospel and committed to the Cooperative Program,” Wright wrote on his blog June 3. “Jared’s interest in the SBC stems from his concern that the convention be growing toward greater and greater health.”

Wright noted that Moore’s ministry has been “given to the out-of-the-way places which comprise the bulk of Southern Baptists historically. Over nearly thirteen years and from Baxter, TN to Hustonville, KY (look those places up; not exactly the fashionable sectors to pastor in …) Jared’s life has been given to churches which those eager for fame and career advancement would consider too obscure.”

Wright also took note of Moore’s turn to faith in Christ. “I remember still the day I saw the change of regeneration evidence itself in my friend’s life. At that time I recollect thinking I had never seen such an immediate and radical change in an individual life as I did in Jared’s conversion. As nearly fifteen years have been added to that day I am happy to say the Lord has allowed me to see others whose conversion has been as profound as Jared’s but they are nonetheless extremely rare.”

The 32-year-old Moore wrote on his blog that he will accept the nomination because he wants to represent rural Southern Baptists, support the Cooperative Program and promote unity within the SBC.

“I hope to encourage churches to begin, continue, or increase their support of the Cooperative Program. It’s still the best way available for supporting the equipping of Southern Baptist ministers to take the Gospel locally and abroad, and to train other Southern Baptists to do the same,” Moore wrote. “Apart from cooperating with other SBC churches through the Cooperative Program, our small church could not support as many ministries on our own.”

Regarding his hope to promote unity in the SBC, Moore wrote, “I think Traditionalists, Calvinists, and everything in between in the SBC can work together. Since the founding of the Southern Baptist convention, Southern Baptists of different stripes have been able to work together. There’s no reason to divide beyond the Baptist Faith and Message 2000. I believe we’ll accomplish far more together than we will if we’re divided. Hopefully, this year will be one of renewal as Calvinists and Traditionalists reach across the aisle for the sake of the gospel, and for the sake of the future of the SBC.”

The 284-member church, by a congregational vote, gives 16 percent of its undesignated receipts to the CP. The church recorded a weekly worship attendance of 50 and weekly Sunday school/Bible study/small group attendance of 39. According to the 2011 and 2012 ACP reports, the church has had four baptisms.

“I was saved in a rural Southern Baptist Church, and I’ve primarily served rural Southern Baptists ever since,” Moore wrote. “I want to represent Southern Baptists like the ones I serve on a daily basis who may not have the opportunity to attend the convention or serve at the convention level.”

Moore holds a master of theology degree in systematic theology and an M.Div. in Christian ministry from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, where is enrolled as a systematic theology doctoral student. He also holds a B.A. from Trinity College of the Bible and a master of arts in religion from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.

He has authored “The Harry Potter Bible Study: Enjoying God Through the Final Four Harry Potter Movies.”

Moore and his wife Amber have three children, Caden, Ava and Ian.

Don Cass, second VP nominee

Cass, longtime pastor and denominational leader in Texas and New Mexico, will be nominated for second vice president by Bob Pearle, pastor of Birchman Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Pearle told the Southern Baptist TEXAN. Cass has been a member of Birchman Baptist since 2004.

Cass directed evangelism at the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention (SBTC) from 2004-12 after completing a pastorate at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Tyler, Texas. In addition to pastorates in Lubbock, Abilene and Plainview, Cass also pastored in the smaller Texas towns of Tahoka, Aledo, Josephine and Dimmitt.

“Don’s vast experience and love for Southern Baptists makes him eminently qualified for this honored position,” Pearle said. “Don knows well the value of Cooperative Program giving through his pastoral ministry and then leading in the evangelism division of three state conventions.”

Reflecting on Cass’ commitment to evangelism, Pearle said, “He has instilled a culture of evangelism in the churches he pastored and the state conventions he served. His life and experience in evangelism are a model for our denomination to emulate, particularly in this period of declining baptisms.”

During his tenure at the SBTC, attendance for the Empower Evangelism Conference grew from 1,500 to more than 3,200 and the Student Evangelism Conference more than doubled and expanded to two locations.

He received the W. A. Criswell Lifetime Achievement Award for Pastoral Evangelism and the Roy Fish Lifetime Achievement Award for Vocational Evangelism from the SBTC. Cass authored manuals and Gospel tracts to equip laymen to share their faith, including his most recent work, “All Things New,” a discipleship study for new Christians.

Cass served nine years as associate evangelism director at the Baptist General Convention of Texas and six years as director of evangelism at the Baptist Convention of New Mexico.

He graduated from Wayland Baptist University and holds a master of divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and doctor of divinity from Criswell College.

Cass and his wife Barbara have a daughter and three grandchildren. He continues to serve SBTC as a consultant in evangelism.

Birchman Baptist contributes 13.6 percent of undesignated receipts through the Cooperative Program.
Based on stories by Rob Collingsworth and Tammi Reed Ledbetter of the Southern Baptist TEXAN ( http://texanonline.net/) and Diana Chandler, staff writer for Baptist Press. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress) and in your email (baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).

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