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Hunt to be renominated for SBC president

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)–Johnny Hunt, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Woodstock, Ga., will be nominated for a second, one-year term as president of the Southern Baptist Convention by Ken Whitten, the Florida pastor confirmed June 15.

The SBC will meet in Louisville, Ky., June 23-24. Hunt was elected over five other candidates in 2008 on the first ballot, with nearly 53 percent support.

“When he asked me if I would consider nominating him for his second term, I did not hesitate to say yes,” said Whitten, pastor of Idlewild Baptist Church in Lutz.

Whitten praised Hunt’s 23-year pastorate in Woodstock, where “God has used him to impact a world for Jesus Christ.”

Hunt was also lauded by Whitten for his willingness to meet with both denominational leaders and seminarians.

“He has crisscrossed our nation to meet with young pastors and future leaders and has found this denomination to have both needs and hope for bright days ahead,” Whitten said.

“Johnny Hunt believes the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing, and that is a denomination that glorifies Christ and reaches and disciples the lost. Johnny is a leader; it is my prayer that we allow him to lead us one more year,” he added.

A native of North Carolina, Hunt has been pastor of the Atlanta-area church since December 1986. During his first year as pastor, the church baptized 318 people and had 268 additions by statement and letter.

The Woodstock congregation relocated to an 82-acre site in the fall of 2004. The $54 million sanctuary, which seats 7,500, hosts two morning worship services.

Information from the 2008 Annual Church Profile for First Baptist Church showed 505 baptisms and primary worship service attendance of 6504 and giving of $432,977, or 2.48 percent, through the Cooperative Program on total undesignated receipts of $17.45 million. According to the ACP, the church’s total mission expenditures were $3,607,189, with $175,000 given for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions. The ACP did not record an amount given for the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American Missions.

Hunt is a graduate of Gardner-Webb College in Boiling Springs, N.C., where he was voted ministerial student of the year in 1979. He earned a master of divinity degree from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1981. The Chair of Church Growth at Southeastern was named for Hunt in 1997.

Hunt is married to the former Janet Allen of Wilmington, N.C. The couple has two daughters and four grandchildren.

Hunt is the only announced candidate for president.
Adapted from the Florida Baptist Witness (floridabaptistwitness.com), newsjournal of the Florida Baptist State Convention.

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