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Ind. pastor Randall Forsythe to be 2nd VP nominee

DALLAS (BP) — Indiana pastor Randall Forsythe will be nominated for second vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention, fellow Indiana pastor Reginald Fletcher announced today (June 6).

A former president of the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana, Forsythe has pastored Grace Baptist Church in Portage, Ind., for the past 15 years. He is the Indiana convention’s current second vice president and has served as first vice president.

Prior to his pastorate at Grace, Forsythe worked 20 years as a paralegal.

Fletcher, pastor of Living Word Baptist Church in Indianapolis, cited as Forsythe’s hallmarks “faithful teaching, exposition and trust in the inerrant Word of God and Bible-focused leadership.”

“Randall is a faithful and lifelong Southern Baptist who will support and prayerfully assist our next president in moving our convention into the future,” Fletcher said in a statement released to Baptist Press. “Randall has served faithfully his church, association and our state convention through the years. A very active and engaged pastor, he brings a zeal for Kingdom work.”

During Forsythe’s pastorate at Grace, he has “revived the Sunday School arm of the church, quadrupled the membership, witnessed 170 baptisms and has led a $600,000 renovation campaign, of which $540,000 has been repaid,” Fletcher said. “Randall is a true believer in the Cooperative Program, as his church is committed to giving, as well as many other offerings that resource the work of Southern Baptists.”

In 2017, Grace recorded nine baptisms with an average worship attendance of 154, according to data from the SBC’s Annual Church Profile (ACP).

Grace gave 5.4 percent of its undesignated receipts to missions last year, including 3.1 percent through the Cooperative Program, according to ACP data confirmed by the church. Grace gave 8.5 percent of its undesignated receipts through CP in 2015 but had to reduce its giving in more recent years amid a church split, the congregation told BP.

CP is Southern Baptists’ unified channel of supporting missions and ministries in North America and internationally.

Forsythe has served on the board of the Baptist Foundation of Indiana and has taken more than 20 mission trips to eight countries.

He holds a bachelor of arts degree from Oklahoma Baptist University; bachelor’s degrees in business and criminal justice from Calumet College of St. Joseph in Hammond, Ind.; and a graduate degree in paralegal studies from Roosevelt University in Chicago.

He and his wife Jean have five adult children and seven grandchildren.

Forsythe is the third announced nominee for second vice president. Tennessee evangelist Jerry Drace’s nomination was announced in May. Oklahoma pastor Felix Cabrera’s nomination was announced in March.

Announced presidential nominees are North Carolina pastor J.D. Greear and former Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary President Ken Hemphill. Announced first vice presidential nominees are California pastor A.B. Vines and Southern Baptists of Texas Convention staff member Mike Gonzales.