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La. pastor announces plans to nominate Hemphill

DALLAS (BP) — Louisiana pastor Brad Jurkovich has announced he will nominate Ken Hemphill for Southern Baptist Convention president at the convention’s June 12-13 annual meeting in Dallas.

A coalition of Southern Baptists stated their intent to nominate Hemphill via Louisiana’s Baptist Message newsjournal Feb. 1, but no specific individual was identified as volunteering to place the former Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary president’s name in nomination.

“I’ve had the opportunity to interview both candidates for the next president of the Southern Baptist Convention,” Jurkovich, pastor of First Baptist Church in Bossier City, La., said in a statement released to Baptist Press May 10. “I believe both Dr. [J.D.] Greear and Dr. Hemphill are godly men. After much prayer I am convinced that Dr. Ken Hemphill is the man who is capable, ready, resourced and has the capacity and wisdom to lead us at this critical time. Dr. Hemphill has great passion for our convention of 45,000 plus churches. He is a godly statesman whose decades of servant leadership to the SBC as a pastor and leader is exactly what we need in this critical hour.”

Hemphill led Southwestern from 1994-2003 and served from 2003-11 as national strategist for the SBC’s Empowering Kingdom Growth emphasis. Currently, he is an administrator at North Greenville University.

Hemphill “and his wife Paula have three children,” Jurkovich said. “They are a powerhouse family for the Gospel and will connect and inspire every generation within our growing SBC. Dr. Hemphill deeply desires spiritual awakening that leads to the greatest days in the history of the SBC. I am also very excited to be nominating him to be our next president at our annual meeting in Dallas, Texas, and I encourage every pastor to pray and attend.”

Jurkovich has hosted livestream interviews of Hemphill and Greear, pastor of The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, N.C., and the only other announced candidate for SBC president to date.

Jurkovich first announced his intent to nominate Hemphill in a May 9 tweet, which noted, Hemphill’s “passion for spiritual awakening, evangelism, and the future of the SBC is stirring.”

Greear will be nominated by Ken Whitten, pastor of Idlewild Baptist Church in Lutz, Fla.