HARTSELLE, Ala. (BP)–Frank Cox, pastor of North Metro First Baptist Church in Lawrenceville, Ga., will be nominated for president of the Southern Baptist Convention during the SBC’s June 10-11 annual meeting in Indianapolis, Alabama evangelist Junior Hill announced Feb. 7.
Cox is the third nominee to be announced, joining R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., and William L. (Bill) Wagner, a former Southern Baptist missionary and seminary professor and current president of Olivet University International in San Francisco.
Cox is a former president of the Georgia Baptist Convention and former SBC first vice president. He also served on the SBC Executive Committee for nine years and currently is a member of the SBC Funding Study Committee. He was a member of the Ad Hoc Cooperative Program Committee which formed in 2003 and issued its final report in 2006 with recommendations about how to revitalize the SBC’s primary giving channel.
Hill, of Hartselle, Ala., described Cox as “a man’s man, a pastor’s pastor, a Southern Baptist’s Southern Baptist and a man after God’s own heart. He is winsome, gentle and approachable. He believes that the Gospel is for all people in all the world all the time.”
Cox’s Atlanta-area church “models missions, evangelism and faithful stewardship as well as any church I know,” Hill said. “He has a rapport with younger pastors and will help get them involved in the great work of our denomination. As our convention president, he will speak with a clear voice to call our nation back to God.”
Cox has been North Metro’s pastor for more than 27 years. Under his leadership, the church has grown from 700 members to more than 4,600 today, with 3,600-plus individuals added to the church fellowship as baptized believers. A total of 164 persons have surrendered to full-time Christian service under Cox’s pastorate at North Metro. Cox led his congregation to change the church’s name from Pleasant Hill to North Metro First Baptist and relocate from a six-acre site to a 55-acre site 10 miles north of the original location. Both decisions were unanimously approved by the congregation.
Cox has guided North Metro to become a leader in the SBC in cooperative missions. Beginning in 2002, North Metro has been in the top 100 of all SBC churches in total dollars contributed through the Cooperative Program, ranking 44 of 44,223 congregations in 2006.
Hill said Cox “cares about people. He cares about our denomination and he cares about the destiny of America. He has never been too small to preach in the largest of our churches and he has never been too big to preach in the smallest of our churches. His heart is pure. His doctrine is right. His vision is clear.”
Cox is married to the former Mary Roderick, who serves as the Georgia convention’s ministers’ wives ministry coordinator. The Coxes have two sons and a daughter. Cox’s first wife, Debbie, died of a brain tumor in July 1986. His first book, “Trusting God’s Heart,” is the story of her sickness and death, what God taught him through grief and how God restored his joy.
The most recent information available, Southern Baptists’ 2006 Annual Church Profile Survey, lists 110 baptisms and primary worship service attendance of 1,737 for North Metro. The congregation gave $393,839, or 13.4 percent, through the Cooperative Program from total undesignated receipts of $2,946,717. According to the ACP, the church’s total mission expenditures were $601,416, with $59,976 given for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions and $23,494 for the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American Missions.
Based on reporting by J. Gerald Harris, editor of The Christian Index, newsjournal of the Georgia Baptist Convention, and Art Toalston, editor of Baptist Press.