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Paul Pressler to be nominated for SBC first vice president

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Retired Texas appeals court judge Paul Pressler will be nominated for first vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention during the SBC’s annual meeting in St. Louis.

Pressler, a leader in the conservative resurgence that returned the SBC to its Bible-based roots, will be nominated by Richard Land, president of the SBC’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.

Upon hearing that Pressler might be considering the position, Land asked if he might have the “privilege and the honor” of nominating Pressler.

While many Southern Baptists know of Pressler’s leadership in the conservative resurgence, Land said he has known the judge since he was a 16-year-old high school student in Texas.

“Without reservation, I wouldn’t be in the ministry today without Judge and Nancy’s [his wife] ministry in my life,” Land said. “It is an opportunity to express my profound gratitude and debt to Judge Pressler to nominate him.”

The Presslers led a Bible study for teenagers interested in attending eastern universities. Land said their studies prepared him for the unique challenges that evangelical Christians face on Ivy League campuses.

“There are literally thousands of people in this country who are in the ministry today directly because of the ministry of Paul and Nancy Pressler,” Land said.

Pressler, 71, is the author of “A Hill on Which to Die,” published by Broadman & Holman of the SBC’s LifeWay Christian Resources.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Princeton University, graduating cum laude in 1957. As a 26-year-old law student, he was elected to the Texas State Legislature. From 1970-78 he served as judge of the 133rd Judicial District Court of Harris County, Texas.

From 1978-92 he served as a justice on the Court of Appeals of Texas, 14th District. He currently practices law with the firm of Woodfill and Pressler.

Pressler served as president of the Council for National Policy from 1988-90 and continues as a board member.

He has served on the SBC Executive Committee (1984-91), the International Mission Board (1992-2000), and the Baptist World Alliance’s General Council. He also is a deacon and Sunday school teacher at First Baptist Church of Houston.

Pressler is a native of Houston where he lives with his wife of more than 40 years. They have three children and seven grandchildren.

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  • Todd Starnes