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UPDATE: Jack Graham re-elected president; vice presidents also unopposed

PHOENIX (BP)–Jack Graham, pastor of the Dallas-area Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, was elected without opposition for a second one-year term to the Southern Baptist Convention presidency June 17 in Phoenix.

The convention’s two vice presidents also were elected as the lone nominees, while the recording and registration secretaries were re-elected without opposition.

In nominating Graham, Bobby Welch, pastor of First Baptist Church in Daytona Beach, Fla., thanked Graham for his leadership of the convention during the past year.

“As all of us in this auditorium know, the last 12 months has been loaded with controversial and uncertain times and changes,” Welch said. “But during this time, our president has led us with certainty, with conviction through these times, and during this time has kept the focus on the main thing and that is for this convention to keep on making a priority of reaching people and discipling them for the Lord Jesus.”

Rob Zinn, pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Highland, Calif., was elected first vice president of the convention without opposition. Zinn was nominated by Walter Price, pastor of Fellowship in the Pass Church in Beaumont, Calif.

“First of all, as a true Kingdom man, Rob is wild about Jesus. He loves to tell others about the Lord Jesus Christ, he loves to win people to Jesus,” Price said. “During his tenure as pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church, there have been over 6,000 baptisms in his church. Rob is wild about his bride of 29 years, Sue, and his three children. He is wild about his church. He’s a pastor who loves his church.”

Zinn is a former president of the California Southern Baptist Convention and current member of the SBC Executive Committee. He has been an active training leader for FAITH, the Sunday School/evangelism strategy increasingly being used in Southern Baptist churches. He also has been a trustee chairman at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, a trustee of the Southern Baptist Foundation and a vice president of the SBC Pastors’ Conference.

Zinn has been pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church for the past 30 years. The church has grown from 730 members to more than 7,300, acquired a 40-acre campus and built a 2,000-seat worship center and led California Baptists in baptisms and missions giving for several years.

William L. (Bill) Wagner, professor of evangelism and missions at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary and an emeritus missionary with the International Mission Board, was elected without opposition for second vice president of the convention.

Paul Kim, pastor of Berkland Baptist Church in Cambridge, Mass., and a trustee of the International Mission Board nominated Wagner.

“Through a lifetime of obedience to God, Bill is someone who fully understands sacrifice and suffering in pursuit of God’s call to missions,” Kim said. Kim offered that Wagner’s time as a missionary and a discipler is proof of his love for the people of God.

Wagner was nominated for SBC first vice president in 1998 in Salt Lake City, losing in a two-nominee ballot to the late Rick Ferguson, then-pastor of Denver’s Riverside Baptist Church.

Wagner has held the E. Herman Westmoreland Chair of Evangelism at Golden Gate since 1995 and is associate director of the David and Faith Kim School of Intercultural Studies at the Mill Valley, Calif., campus. As a missionary Wagner served more than 30 years in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.

John Yeats, editor of the Oklahoma Baptist Messenger, was re-elected without opposition as recording secretary. Lonnie Lathum, pastor of South Tulsa Baptist Church in Tulsa, Okla, nominated Yeats.

Jim Wells, a director of missions from Branson, Mo., was re-elected without opposition to a second term as registration secretary. James Merritt, pastor of the Atlanta-area First Baptist Church of Snellville, nominated Wells.

Steve Gaines, pastor of First Baptist Church in Gardendale, Ala., was tapped to deliver the convention sermon at the annual meeting in Indianapolis in 2004.

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  • Erin Curry