By Jonathan Howe
KELLER, Texas — Tom Ascol, Bart Barber, and Robin Hadaway will all participate in a panel discussion at First Baptist Church on Wednesday, May 4. The discussion, which will be live-streamed, is set to be hosted by Joe Wooddell and Tony Richmond—both of FBC Keller.
Pastor Keith Sanders says the church is happy to host the event, knowing that “these godly men will demonstrate how to converse, agree, and disagree in Christian love with civility.” Sanders feels “Southern Baptists should be a light to the world first with the Gospel, but also in how we relate to each other in public discussion.”
Ascol, Barber, and Hadaway are currently the only announced candidates for the position. The election of a new SBC president will take place on June 14 at the 2022 SBC Annual Meeting in Anaheim, Calif. Current SBC president Ed Litton announced earlier this spring that he had chosen not to seek a second term in the position.
The candidate forum is scheduled to take place at 12:00 p.m., Central, and Wooddell believes, “it will be good for SBC members and friends to hear the candidates’ answers on how to encourage evangelism and missions, what they would prioritize, and how best to navigate denominational and cultural challenges in coming months.”
While questions for the candidates will not be taken from the audience or live stream viewers, those interested in submitting questions before the event can do so at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ascol has pastored Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral since 1986. Prior to his time at Grace, he served as a pastor and associate pastor of various churches in Texas. Ascol is most widely known in the SBC for his work as president of Founders Ministries, an organization Ascol helped start in 1982. He is also a frequent contributor in TableTalk, the monthly magazine for Ligonier Ministries, has authored several books, and hosts a popular podcast – The Sword & The Trowel.
Pastor of First Baptist Church, Farmersville, Texas, Barber will also serve as the chairman of the Committee on Resolutions at the June meeting. In addition to his leadership of the Committee on Resolutions this year, Barber served on the committee in 2021, preached at the SBC Pastors’ Conference in 2017, served as first vice president of the SBC from 2013 through 2014, served on the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention executive board from 2008 through 2014 (including serving as chairman and vice-chairman), served as a trustee for Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary from 2009 through 2019 and served on the SBC Committee on Committees in 2008. He also previously taught as an adjunct professor at SWBTS from 2006 through 2009.
Hadaway began his ministry career pastoring churches in California and Arizona before serving with the IMB on the field in Africa and South America. While on the field, he was involved in church planting in Tanzania, starting churches among unreached peoples in Northern Africa and directing church planting efforts in Eastern South America. During his stint in South America, Hadaway served as a regional leader for the IMB leading more than 300 missionaries in the region. Following his time with IMB, Hadaway spent nearly two decades at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary as a professor of missions and served in a variety of administrative roles including interim president, dean of students, vice president for institutional initiatives, interim CFO and interim administrative vice president. He currently serves as senior professor of missions at Midwestern.
The event is open to the public, and doors open at 11:30. B&R