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Paul Smith announced as Pastors’ Conf. VP nominee

ST. LOUIS (BP) — Paul Smith, pastor of the Phoenix-area First Baptist Church of Chandler, Ariz., will be nominated for vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention Pastors’ Conference, according to an announcement from Louisiana pastor James Law.

Smith also serves as associate professor of Old Testament studies at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary. His 25-year pastoral ministry has included churches in Arkansas, Louisiana and Illinois.

Law, pastor of First Baptist Church in Gonzalez, La., stated in a May 31 announcement to Baptist Press that under Smith’s leadership, First Baptist Chandler “is consistently in the top five in the state of Arizona in baptisms and Cooperative Program and missions giving. In his 13-year tenure, the church has grown from 100 meeting in a high school to almost 600 in their own building. They are about to construct more space debt free.”

According to the SBC’s Annual Church Profile database, in 2015 First Baptist gave 10 percent of its undesignated receipts through CP, Southern Baptists’ unified method of supporting missions and ministries in North America and across the globe. The congregation has averaged approximately 13 baptisms annually over the past five years with an average worship attendance of 545 over the same period, according to ACP.

Law noted, “Having known Paul Smith for nearly 30 years, I believe he would make a strong contribution to the leadership and planning of the SBC Pastors’ Conference 2017.”

The Pastors’ Conference, which features messages from key leaders and inspirational music and worship, will be June 12-13 at America’s Center in St. Louis preceding the SBC’s June 14-15 annual meeting there.

Phoenix will be the site of next year’s Pastors’ Conference and SBC annual meeting.

Smith earned doctor of philosophy and master of divinity degrees from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and an undergraduate degree from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Ark.

He and his wife Jerri have four children and two grandchildren.