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Cross Church affirms Nick Floyd as senior pastor

SPRINGDALE, Ark. (BP) — Nick Floyd was affirmed Sunday (April 28) as the next senior pastor of Cross Church in northwest Arkansas, to succeed his father, Ronnie Floyd, president/CEO-elect of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee.

A statement posted at the church’s website reported: “This morning, April 28, 2019, in the eleven services of Cross Church, Dr. Nick Floyd was voted upon and affirmed in an overwhelming manner to become the next Senior Pastor of Cross Church at the conclusion of morning worship on Sunday, May 19, 2019.”

“I love this church. I am a product of you, this body of believers,” Nick Floyd, 35, said in a video prepared for the congregational vote.

“While so many things are changing, in some ways nothing is,” he said. “I share the same heartbeat of this church to reach northwest Arkansas and America and the world for Jesus Christ. I have the same conviction to lift high the authority of the Word of God for our church and for our lives. And I have a deepening passion for us to experience the manifest presence of God as we gather together in our Sunday services.”

Donnie Smith, retired CEO of Tyson Foods who serves on the church’s seven-member board of directors, said Nick Floyd “has the DNA of Cross Church.”

“In what is a unique and very special thing for a church … [Floyd] was saved, baptized, discipled, called to ministry, licensed to the ministry and ordained right here at Cross Church.”

Floyd has served with the church for the past decade, first at its campus in Rogers, Ark., then starting and preaching at a second service at the Springdale campus, and in 2011 launching the campus in Fayetteville, now the largest of the church’s campuses with three morning services. He also became the church’s lead teaching pastor three years ago and assumed overall responsibility for the church’s staff.

Smith said Floyd has “paid the price in his academic preparation,” earning a doctor of ministry degree at Liberty University’s School of Divinity in Lynchburg, Va.; a master of divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, while working on the staff of the Dallas-area Prestonwood Baptist Church; and an undergraduate degree from Liberty.

“He’s also committed to who we are as a Southern Baptist church,” Smith said, noting that Floyd is a trustee at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., and a member of Arkansas Baptist State Convention’s Executive Board.

Smith said Floyd also worked with his father who served as SBC president from 2014-2016 and earlier as chairman of the convention’s Great Commission Resurgence Task Force.

“On top of that, he has been personally and professionally mentored by his father, Ronnie Floyd, for the last decade,” Smith said. “We see that as an incredible benefit to the church.”

Smith said the church began a succession plan two years ago in the event of anything that might affect Ronnie Floyd’s service as senior pastor, whether illness or sudden death or “a situation we’re facing today of him being called to another position in ministry.”

“We knew we needed to identify the right man who would become the next spiritual leader of our church, the man who would set the direction for the future of our church whenever the time of succession would come,” Smith said, describing a “thorough, thoughtful and prayerful process” that led to the board of directors’ unanimous recommendation.

Floyd, in the video, introduced his family: Meredith, whom he met at Liberty, married nearly 14 years ago, who has begun a Bible study for about 20 coaches’ wives at the University of Arkansas, where he has been the football team’s chaplain the past five years; daughter Reese, a middle schooler; Beckham, 9; Norah, 6; and Maya, who was adopted from Malawi nearly four years ago.

Ronnie Floyd was elected as president and CEO of the SBC Executive Committee during a special called meeting April 2 in Dallas. Now in his 33rd year at Cross Church, Floyd resigned as senior pastor the following Sunday, April 7, and will conclude his ministry at the church May 19.