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Golden Gate prof to be SBC 2nd v.p. nominee

MILL VALLEY, Calif. (BP)–William L. “Bill” Wagner, professor of evangelism and missions at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, will be nominated for second vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention when messengers gather for the annual meeting in Dallas June 17-19.

An emeritus foreign missionary who spent more than 30 years on the mission field, Wagner now occupies the E. Hermond Westmoreland Chair of Evangelism at Golden Gate, a position he’s held since 1996. He also is associate director of the Mill Valley, Calif., seminary’s school of intercultural studies.

Wagner is the second announced nominee for the SBC office. Retired Florida pastor J.C. Mitchell is the other nominee.

Cal Guy, a retired Southern Baptist missionary and professor emeritus of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Texas, will nominate Wagner.

Guy said electing Wagner as second vice president is an opportunity for Southern Baptists to “speak up for missions and missionaries.” Wagner, he said, represents both well.

“Dr. Wagner is a rare combination of layman, preacher, scholar, practitioner, American Christian, world Christian, church planter and administrator,” he said. “We as Southern Baptists are blessed to have a man of such broad background ready to serve our convention.”

Wagner began serving with the Foreign Mission Board in 1965, stationed in Salzburg as a fraternal representative of the FMB to Austrian Baptists. Following his appointment in that country, Wagner was the FMB’s regional consultant for evangelism and church growth for Europe and the Middle East. Living in Ohain, Belgium, he assisted missionaries and European Baptists with on-the-field mission planning.

During his missionary service he also started and pastored four churches, served as head of the practical theology department at the Evangelical Theological Faculty in Heverlee, Belgium, served as interim executive secretary of the European Baptist Convention, chaired the European Baptist Federation Committee for Mission to Muslims in Europe.

Prior to his mission service, Wagner was pastor of Hermosa Baptist Church in Albuquerque, N.M., from 1961-65. 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 and the bachelor of science from the University of New Mexico.