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SBC messengers elect 2006 officers

GREENSBORO, N.C. (BP)—Frank Page, pastor of First Baptist Church in Taylors, S.C., elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention during their annual meeting June 13-14 in Greensboro, was the first of five men to complete the slate of officers to lead the 16.2 million-member denomination for the next year.

In a three-candidate race for president, of the 9,005 votes cast, Page, with 4,546 votes, or 50.48 percent on the first ballot, defeated Ronnie Floyd, pastor of First Baptist Church in Springdale, Ark., who was second with 2,247 votes or 24.95 percent, and Jerry Sutton, pastor of Two Rivers Baptist Church in Nashville, Tenn., who had 2,168 votes or 24.08 percent of the votes. Tellers disqualified 44 votes or 0.49 percent.

The presidential election was the first highly contested presidential race at an SBC annual meeting since 1994 in Orlando, when Jim Henry, now retired as pastor of First Baptist Church there, defeated Fred Wolfe, now of Canton, Ga.

Page succeeds Bobby Welch, pastor of First Baptist Church of Daytona Beach, Fla., who served two terms as president.

Jimmy Jackson, pastor of Whitesburg Baptist Church in Huntsville, Ala., won the election for first vice president in a runoff. He received 51.44 percent (1,107 votes) of the vote, edging Mark Dever (47.86 percent, 1,030 votes), pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C.

On the first ballot, Dever received a plurality of the votes, with 29.72 percent (1,090 votes) to Jackson’s 27.48 percent (1,008 votes). Convention rules state that the top two vote-getters advance to a runoff. On the first ballot Kelly J. Burris, senior pastor of Kempsville Baptist Church in Virginia Beach, Va., received 22.76 percent (835) while Keith Fordham, an evangelist from Fayetteville, Ga., and a member of Harp’s Crossing Baptist Church in Fayetteville, Ga., received 19.79 percent (726 votes).

Wiley Drake, pastor of First Southern Baptist Church in Buena Park, Calif., was elected to the post of second vice president. Drake received 50.37 percent of the vote (2,408 votes) on the first ballot over three other nominees –- J.D. Greear (1,508 votes), pastor of the Summit Church in Durham, N.C.; Bob Bender (635 votes), pastor of First Baptist Church of Black Forest in Colorado Springs, Colo.; and Jay Adkins (207 votes), pastor of First Baptist Church in Westwego, La.

By acclamation, messengers re-elected John Yeats, director of communications for the Louisiana Baptist Convention and a member of Calvary Baptist Church in Alexandria, La., as recording secretary and Jim Wells, director of missions for Tri County Baptist Association in Nixa, Mo., as registration secretary.

Messengers chose Rob Zinn, pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Highland, Calif., to preach the convention sermon at next year’s annual meeting in San Antonio, Texas. Pat Pajak, pastor of Tabernacle Baptist Church in Decatur, Ill., was selected as the convention sermon alternate, while Scott White, minister of music and worship at First Baptist Church in Woodstock, Ga., will serve as the meeting’s music director.

Forrest Pollock, pastor of Bell Shoals Baptist Church in Brandon, Fla., nominated Page for president.

Pollock described Page as a man who will “not only love the Word of God — the inerrant Bible — but also will support the Cooperative Program.”

Page’s church gives 12.4 percent of undesignated receipts to the Cooperative Program, Pollock said.

“We’ve got to work together if we’re going to accomplish the Great Commission,” Pollock said. “That’s the reason that we started the Cooperative Program in the first place — so that granddaddy’s church could work with your church and my church to reach the world for the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Pollock said Page is “not a high flying preacher, just a soul-winner.”

Page has been pastor of First Baptist Church in Taylors, S.C., the past five and a half years. He previously served as pastor of Warren Baptist Church in Augusta, Ga.; Gambrell Street Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas; and LaFayette Baptist Church in Fayetteville, N.C.

Page, 53, has served on the executive boards of the South Carolina, Georgia and North Carolina state Baptist conventions. He is the author of the book, “Trouble with the Tulip: A Closer Examination of the Five Points of Calvinism,” released in 2000 by Riverstone Group Publishing.

A native of North Carolina, Page earned his undergraduate degree from Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, N.C. He earned a doctor of philosophy degree in Christian ethics and a master of divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth. He and his wife, Dayle, have three grown daughters.
With reporting by Michael Foust, Eva Wolever & Allen Palmeri.

    About the Author

  • Tim Ellsworth

    Tim Ellsworth is associate vice president for university communications at Union University in Jackson, Tenn. BP reports on missions, ministry and witness advanced through the Cooperative Program and on news related to Southern Baptists’ concerns nationally and globally.

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