News Articles

Moore calls CP ‘remarkable,’ shares his criteria for committee members

Editor’s note: Baptist Press will be releasing interviews with all six known SBC presidential candidates in the coming days.

Editor’s note: This story was edited after its initial publication to provide clarity regarding a vote taken by ERLC trustees.

NASHVILLE (BP) – Jared Moore is grateful for the influence of people who love the Lord, love the local church and loved him when he was a teenager. Moore quickly remembers a specific couple who shepherded him and a group of friends while they were teenagers at Gum Springs Baptist Church in Walling, Tenn.

Moore, 43, is an announced candidate for 2024 SBC president. He fondly remembers the influence of Aaron and Beverly Barlow as they shared the Gospel with him and discipled him a few decades ago.

“I’ve been in ministry for 24 years now in the SBC, and I’ve met hundreds of people like them in Southern Baptist churches. They are the unsung heroes of the SBC,” Moore told Baptist Press.

Moore has been the pastor of Homesteads Baptist Church in Crossville, Tenn., since 2016. He and wife Amber are raising their four children there.

Though he believes pastors are being disparaged in the culture today, he trusts “the Lord will raise up more folks,” and, just like in the Old Testament they may come from the smallest tribe, “but God takes those folks and uses them to change the world.”

He says this conviction is one of the reasons he’s willing to be nominated to serve as SBC president.

Moore started his college career studying engineering but felt compelled to study the Bible because he knew he was called to be a pastor.

He holds theology degrees from Liberty University and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Better stewardship leads to cooperative mission

Moore calls Homesteads Church “not a large church” as it averages between 150-170 people on Sundays. He believes his church is a prime example of the value of the Cooperative Program.

“Our church might be able to support one missionary, but it would be difficult to train that missionary, to send him or her out …” he said.

“A better stewardship of our time and our energies is to cooperate with other Southern Baptist churches.”

Moore said he has been grateful for Southern Baptists’ support of their missionaries.

“Southern Baptist missionaries have told me there is not another missions agency that takes care of their missionaries like the SBC does,” he continued. “I mean, their needs are met … and that is something my church would not be able to do on its own.”

Moore is also impressed with the Southern Baptist seminaries. He mentioned a statistic he’s heard that SBC seminaries train 70 percent of evangelical pastors.

“To be able to cooperate with other churches to get the Gospel to the ends of the earth and to train theologians and to train missionaries and to train Christian counselors, I mean, it really is remarkable what God has used the Cooperative Program to accomplish and do,” he said.

He added that Homesteads Baptist is faithful to promote the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering, the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and other missions giving.

Intentional leadership as SBC president

Moore sees the primary responsibilities of the SBC president as appointing committees and overseeing the annual meeting.

He believes the appointment of the members of the Committee on Committees is vitally important as they recommend the members of the committee that selects SBC entity trustees.

Every committee member Moore appoints would have to:

  • Affirm the Baptist Faith and Message 2000
  • Believe that only men can be pastors
  • Believe and teach that LGBTQ desires and attraction to children is morally culpable sin
  • Believe and teach the abolition of abortion and equal right and equal protection for the unborn
  • Believe SBC entities should be financially transparent
  • Believe the SBC should renew its emphasis on reaching rural communities with the Gospel
  • Reject all forms of critical theory

When it comes to the annual meeting, Moore said he would allow more discussion if he is the presiding officer.

The last several years have seen “shenanigans” allowed in calling the question (calling for a vote) before an issue has been properly discussed, he believes.

“I think that is shady,” he said.

He would lead the Convention’s meeting like he does his own local church’s meetings “where everybody who is a member has the right to be heard.”

He believes this will lead to “wise decisions based on the opinions that are shared by everyone in the room.”

Transparency in entity leadership, male leadership in the pastorate

A primary concern of Moore’s is transparency among SBC entities.

“We keep hearing trust the trustees,” Moore said. “I trust the trustees.

“Do the trustees trust Southern Baptists? If they do, why can’t we know how God’s money is being spent that we are giving to your entity?”

Moore is in favor of requiring entities to share more information than they currently are required to share under the SBC Business and Financial Plan.

“It needs to be 990 level financial disclosure,” he said, referring to the IRS 990 form many non-profit organizations are required to submit annually. Churches and religious organizations like the SBC are exempt from filing the form with the federal government.

He told BP that he believes sharing more financial information will encourage greater giving through the Cooperative Program.

As for the so-called Law Amendment, Moore said, “I’m in favor 100 percent.”

“Our confession says male only pastors, and this will add that language to the Constitution so that the Credentials Committee can then encourage churches to submit to the vote of the Convention, which is reflecting God’s Word.”

Moore believes that if the amendment passes, the goal should be to “persuade, not kick out” churches that have women serving in pastoral roles. He believes it “should be a long process … before anyone is removed from the SBC.

“But if someone persists in rejecting the clear biblical teaching that only men are to be pastors, then, yes, they should be removed. They’re not in friendly cooperation with the SBC,” he said.

On sexual abuse in SBC churches

Moore said he takes sexual abuse seriously, adding: “I’m in favor of training and persuading local churches to help them better recognize abuse and abusers to do their due diligence whenever they are hiring staff members and bringing on volunteers.”

He encourages churches to go the extra mile beyond background checks and make phone calls to learn about the character of people serving with children.

“There is no Southern Baptist entity that can prevent sexual abuse,” he said. “There is no decision in Nashville that can prevent sexual abuse. Local churches are the only ones that can prevent sexual abuse.”

While he is in favor of the creation of an abuse-related database based on abuse convictions, he does not believe it should be handled by an outside third party such as was recommended by the Abuse Reform Implementation Task Force in February, and he believes the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission “definitely does not have the right to give $250,000 of Cooperative Program dollars to that private organization.” At their March meeting, ERLC trustees voted to give $250,000 to the ARITF, a task force commissioned by Southern Baptists to oversee the Convention’s sexual abuse reform efforts.

Instead, he believes the SBC Executive Committee should be given the responsibility to work with state conventions and local associations to implement the training initiatives and a conviction-based database.

A passionate, faithful witness to the world

Moore says, if elected, he would want to be “loving, faithful and unapologetically biblical” in his witness to the world as a representative of the SBC.

“I’m not ashamed of anything the Bible teaches,” he said. “I would be clear to preach the Gospel every opportunity I’ll get.”

It is his love for the SBC that drives his willingness to be nominated as SBC president, he said.

The 2024 presidential election is scheduled for Tuesday night, June 11, at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis. Candidates can be nominated to serve as SBC president until the time of the vote.

    About the Author

  • Brandon Porter

    Brandon Porter serves as Associate Vice President for Convention News at the SBC Executive Committee

    Read All by Brandon Porter ›