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Johnny Hunt adds 4 to GCR task force

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Four members have been added to the Great Commission task force appointed June 24 by Southern Baptist Convention President Johnny Hunt during the SBC annual meeting in Louisville, Ky.

“After announcing the names of the GCR task force, I received feedback about the need for greater representation,” Hunt said July 8 in a statement to Baptist Press. “I have added an African American who is a church planter, a Hispanic, an additional woman who also is familiar with the western region of the U.S. and a representative of the Northeast region.

“I want Southern Baptists to know I heard their concerns and have responded,” Hunt said.

Added to the task force were:

— Larry Grays, senior pastor of Midtown Bridge Church in Atlanta. “This young, inner-city, African American church planter is being used by the Lord greatly,” Hunt said. “I know him really well and have heard wonderful things about his life and leadership from other people as well.”

— Ruben Hernandez, associate Spanish pastor at the Dallas-area Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano. “This Hispanic evangelical leader served in full-time evangelism until he joined the staff of Prestonwood and is now preaching their Spanish service, serving the people of Prestonwood,” Hunt said.

— Kathy Ferguson, a women’s ministry speaker whose late husband Rick was a pastor in Denver before his accidental death seven years ago. In August, she will marry Ed Litton, pastor of First Baptist in North Mobile, Ala., who lost his wife in an accident two years ago.

— John Cope, senior pastor of Keystone Community Fellowship in North Wales, Pa., near Philadelphia. “Pastor Cope planted his church eight years ago this fall, is now touching 1,100 people weekly and also has started five additional churches in these almost eight years,” Hunt said. “With 25 percent of the American population living in the Northeast, we wanted a pastor-leader from that region.”

The task force will be chaired by Ronnie W. Floyd, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Springdale, Ark., and The Church at Pinnacle Hills in Rogers, Ark. The vote authorizing the task force charges them with studying how Southern Baptists can work “more faithfully and effectively together in serving Christ through the Great Commission.”

Besides Floyd and Hunt, the committee members appointed in Louisville were Jim Richards, executive director of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention; Frank Page, pastor of First Baptist Church in Taylors, S.C.; David Dockery, president of Union University in Jackson, Tenn.; Simon Tsoi, trustee of the International Mission Board and retired pastor; Donna Gaines, pastor’s wife at Bellevue Baptist Church near Memphis, Tenn.; Al Gilbert, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Winston-Salem, N.C.; J.D. Greear, lead pastor of The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; Tom Biles, executive director of the Tampa Bay Baptist Association.; Daniel L. Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary; R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; John Drummond, a layman at St. Andrew Baptist Church in Panama City, Fla.; Harry Lewis, senior strategist for partnership missions and mobilization at the North American Mission Board; Michael Orr, pastor of First Baptist Church in Chipley, Fla.; Roger Spradlin, pastor of Valley Baptist Church in Bakersfield, Calif.; J. Robert White, executive director of the Georgia Baptist Convention; Ken Whitten, pastor of the Tampa-area Idlewild Baptist Church in Lutz; and Ted Traylor, pastor of Olive Baptist Church in Pensacola, Fla.
Compiled by Baptist Press assistant editor Mark Kelly.

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