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N.C. pastor Eddie Eaton to be recording sec. nominee

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (BP) — North Carolina pastor Eddie Eaton will be nominated for recording secretary of the Southern Baptist Convention, Florida pastor Mike Orr announced today (May 16).

Eaton is “a proven leader,” “Kingdom minded,” and “administratively gifted,” Orr, pastor of First Baptist Church in Chipley, Fla., told Baptist Press in relaying his intent to nominate Eaton at the June 11-12 SBC annual meeting in Birmingham, Ala.

Pastor of Fuquay-Varina (N.C.) Baptist Church since August 2018, Eaton pastored 23 years in Florida previously. For 14 of those years, he was bivocational, achieving the rank of sergeant with the Holmes County Sherriff’s Office.

“Pastor Eddie has led his churches in Kingdom growth,” Orr said. “He led his last church in Florida to build new worship facilities while experiencing growth. He also has exhibited quality leadership in his association and state convention while in Florida. In addition, he served as a decorated law enforcement officer.”

Eaton has also led North American and international mission trips for 20 years. Eaton’s administrative gifts include “great attention for detail. Therefore, he would serve us well in this position of recording secretary. Also, his law enforcement background would be beneficial to us in the circumstances we face today,” Orr said.

Fuquay-Varina told BP it gave 5.2 percent of its undesignated receipts through the Cooperative Program in 2018, a figure confirmed by data from the SBC’s Annual Church Profile (ACP) database. “Under Pastor Eaton’s leadership,” Orr said, “Fuquay-Varina expects to increase their giving to Cooperative Program causes in 2020 — the first budget he will be involved in preparing for the church.”

Fuquay-Varina reported 2018 Great Commission Giving totaling 12 percent of its undesignated receipts.

Great Commission Giving is a category of giving established by SBC action in 2011 that encompasses giving through CP, Southern Baptists’ unified program of funding state- and SBC-level ministries, as well as direct gifts to SBC entities, associational giving and giving to state convention ministries.

Fuquay-Varina reported five baptisms in 2018, with an average worship attendance of 285, according to ACP.

“Pastor Eddie represents the majority of our SBC family,” Orr said. “Ninety percent of our churches average less than 223 people in worship attendance. He is pastor of a church in that percentile and has been both bivocational and vocationally full time as pastor, providing him a unique perspective on SBC life.”

Among the state convention and local association leadership roles Eaton held in Florida, he served on the Florida Baptist Convention’s State Board of Missions and was a four-time Holmes Baptist Association moderator.

Eaton is a member of Faith Riders, a Southern Baptist motorcycle ministry.

He holds a bachelor’s degree from the Baptist College of Florida and plans to enroll for graduate work at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Eaton and his wife Diane have four grown children and six grandchildren.

Eaton is the second announced nominee for recording secretary. Missouri Baptist Convention executive director John Yeats’ renomination to the office was announced earlier this month. Renominations also have been announced for SBC President J.D. Greear and Registration Secretary Don Currence.