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Bill Wagner to be nominated for SBC 2nd VP in Phoenix

MILL VALLEY, Calif. (BP)–William L. (Bill) Wagner, professor of evangelism and missions at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary and an emeritus missionary with the International Mission Board, will be nominated for second vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention when messengers gather for the June 17-18 annual meeting in Phoenix.

Paul Kim, founding pastor of Berkland Baptist Church in Oakland, Calif., and a trustee of the International Mission Board, said he will nominate Wagner.

Wagner was nominated for SBC first president in 1998 in Salt Lake City, losing in a two-nominee ballot to the late Rick Ferguson, then-pastor of Denver’s Riverside Baptist Church.

Wagner has held the E. Herman Westmoreland Chair of Evangelism at Golden Gate since 1995 and is associate director of the David and Faith Kim School of Intercultural Studies at the Mill Valley, Calif., campus.

As a missionary Wagner served more than 30 years in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.

Kim described Wagner as having “a faithful record of zeal and excellence for the Lord as a missionary, pastor, professor and businessman. Only twice in the history of the SBC has a person with the designation of missionary filled one of the top three positions of the convention. I feel the time is ripe for it to happen again. I am thrilled to be nominating a long-respected, dedicated missionary to the position for second VP of the SBC.”

Wagner began serving with the International Mission Board in 1965, stationed in Salzburg as an IMB fraternal representative to Austrian Baptists. In 1982 he became the board’s regional consultant for evangelism and church growth for Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. He assisted missionaries and Baptist Unions in strategic planning as well as teaching methods for church growth and church planting. While in this position he personally started four churches in three countries and helped plan for the starts of others in 10 countries. And, as director of Masterlife Europe, he supervised a program that led to more than 20,000 persons trained as disciples.

During his missionary service he also served as head of the practical theology department at the Evangelical Theological Faculty in Heverlee, Belgium; professor of missions at the Bonn Bible Seminary in Bonn, Germany; and chairman of the European Baptist Federation Committee for Missions to Muslims in Europe. He has completed a book titled “Islam’s Search for World Dominance” to be released this fall. He also is the author of four books on evangelism and church growth.

Prior to his missions service, Wagner, who is a native New Mexican, was pastor of Hermosa Baptist Church in Albuquerque from 1961-65. The church began with 10 members and grew to membership of 400 by 1965, baptized more than 175 people and completed three building projects.

He received his doctor of theology from the University of South Africa, the doctor of missiology from Fuller Theological Seminary in California, the master of divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Texas and the bachelor of science from the University of New Mexico.

He and his wife Sally have two children, one of whom, Mark Wagner and his family, are IMB missionaries in Germany.

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