DULUTH, Ga. (BP) — The search committee selected to nominate the executive director for the Georgia Baptist Mission Board has announced that Thomas Hammond, lead pastor of First Baptist Church in Alpharetta since 2013, is the individual they believe God would have serve in that strategic office.
Hammond also has served in leadership roles with the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee and the North America Mission Board. The Georgia Baptist Convention’s executive committee plans to vote on the search team’s recommendation during their Sept. 11 meeting. The Alpharetta pastor would succeed J. Robert White who has held the office since January 1993.
Bob Jolly, chairman of the search team, announced that they are, “convinced that our nominee has the relational skills to bind our convention together under the Lord’s mandate found in the Great Commission to win the lost, disciple believers, and take the Gospel to the Nations.”
“Thomas brings a passion to win the lost, a deep respect and love for pastors, and a vision for the future of Georgia Baptists,” noted Jolly, pastor of First Baptist Church, Cumming. “Thomas comes with a heart for serving ethnic churches, encouraging young pastors, and equipping all churches of all sizes to share the Gospel with the lost.”
Hammond would bring a variety of experience to the role. During his pastorate at First Baptist in Alpharetta, he has led the congregation to be among the top 10 fastest-growing churches in the Georgia Baptist Convention in the large church category for three years. As pastor, he also has planted two churches with plans to launch a third this month, and invested heavily in starting new churches.
Hammond has increased the church’s Cooperative Program giving from one percent to six percent. The church budget has increased by 25 percent in the course of his pastorate and has been the top giving and top baptizing church in Roswell Baptist Association since his first year as pastor.
In 2015, the church added two worship services and in 2017 the church became debt free. From 2013 to 2018 the church has baptized more than 250 people.
In addition to his current pastorate, Hammond has served the SBC Executive Committee as the vice president for convention advancement and NAMB’s senior director of church evangelism. At NAMB, Hammond supervised teams for personal evangelism, event evangelism, prayer evangelism and student Evangelism.
During his 13 years at NAMB, Hammond led in the development of evangelism resources for the SBC, directed Crossover evangelism events in SBC annual meeting host cities, and led in the creation and implementation of GPS: God’s Plan for Sharing, National Evangelism Strategy.
Hammond has served as a director of missions, minister of evangelism at Hebron Baptist Church in Dacula, and evangelism associate for the Ohio Baptist Convention.
The search team’s nominee has served as the president of the Georgia Baptist Convention and led Baptist churches to implement The Big Invite and the Pastor Prayer Network. He has also served as a trustee at Truett McConnell University and LifeWay Christian Resources.
Hammond is a graduate of Augusta State University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He has a master of divinity from Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Memphis and was the president of the school’s National Alumni Association from 2011 to 2017.
He and his wife Kerri have two grown daughters Katie Elizabeth and Karley Marie.