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Ky. leader to be 1st VP nominee at SBC

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)–Kentucky pastor John Mark Toby will be nominated for first vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention during the June 23-24 annual meeting at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville.

Toby, pastor of Beacon Hill Baptist Church in Somerset, Ky., since 1999, currently is president of the Kentucky Baptist Convention. He will be nominated by Kevin Smith, pastor of Watson Memorial Baptist Church in Louisville and assistant professor of church history at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

“I want to nominate Brother Toby because he is a fine representative of a Kentucky Baptist and a Southern Baptist,” Smith told the Western Recorder, newsjournal of the Kentucky convention.

“He is obviously supportive of the state convention as demonstrated by his volunteer service in a variety of positions, culminating with his election as president last November,” said Smith, who served as KBC first vice president in 2007.

“Additionally, [Toby’s] church has been a regular supporter of the Cooperative Program and other state and national offerings,” Smith noted. “He has a good working relationship with a broad cross section of Baptists and he has a gracious spirit. On top of this, he leads his church on short-term missions trips and serves as a [Kentucky] National Guard chaplain. On many levels, he is a fine Christian leader.”

Information from the 2008 Annual Church Profile for Beacon Hill Baptist Church lists 24 baptisms and primary worship service attendance of 513. The church gave $132,257, or 15 percent, through the Cooperative Program from total undesignated receipts of $882,807. According to the ACP, the church also received $23,736 for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions and $7,768 for the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American Missions.

Toby, a member of the Kentucky National Guard since 1983, is an endorsed chaplain of the North American Mission Board, supervising four chaplain unit ministry teams that minister to 1,645 soldiers. He has served as a Task Force New Orleans chaplain in relief and recovery operations for victims of Hurricane Katrina and is a volunteer chaplain at Lake Cumberlands Regional Hospital.

Beacon Hill also has a television ministry that reaches into five states with a potential weekly viewing audience of 3 million homes.

Toby served as a member of the Tellers Committee in 2004 and 2007 when the Southern Baptist Convention met in Indianapolis and San Antonio, respectively.

On the state level, his denominational service also includes KBC first vice president, 2005-06; member of the convention’s mission board; secretary of the KBC administrative committee; secretary of the business and finance committee; chairman of the audit work group; co-chairman of the tellers committee; twice chairman of the Committee of Committees; and member of the Committee on Arrangements. He also was president of the 2006 KBC Pastors’ Conference.

KBC Executive Director Bill Mackey, in affirming the nomination, noted that Toby has been “consistent in strong financial support of missions and ministries through the Cooperative Program and has provided positive leadership for Kentucky Baptists.” Emphasizing Toby’s extensive leadership experience and knowledge of convention life, Mackey added, “He will provide great support for the convention president.”

“If elected,” Toby said, “I would consider it an honor to serve the SBC and assist the president in any way possible to communicate Christ clearly through our churches to our communities, culture, country and the world through Southern Baptist endeavors.”

Toby is a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville and Luther Rice Seminary in Lithonia, Ga. He also is a graduate of the U.S. Army’s Command and General Staff College. Prior to Beacon Hill, Toby served as pastor of First Baptist Church in Fairdale, Ky., for five years. He and his wife of 24 years, Cathy, have a 10-year-old son, Daniel.
Todd Deaton is editor of the Western Recorder, Kentucky Baptists’ newsjournal.

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  • Todd Deaton