Baptist and Reflector
DALLAS — North Carolina pastor J.D. Greear was elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention June 12 at the 2018 annual meeting in Dallas.
Greear, pastor of The Summit Church in Durham, N.C., was elected over Ken Hemphill, an administrator at North Greenville University in Tigerville, S.C. Hemphill received 5,410 votes or 68.62 percent while Hemphill received 2,459 or 31.19 percent.
Two years ago Greear was involved in a tightly contested election for convention president with Tennessee pastor Steve Gaines in 2016. After two ballots failed to determine a winner, Greear voluntarily withdrew as a candidate, allowing Gaines to be elected.
Greear was nominated this year by Ken Whitten, pastor of Idlewild Baptist Church in Lutz, Fla. He described Greear as a man of integrity, clarity, and unity. Whitten cited Greear’s passion to see souls saved and noted that The Summit Church has led the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina in Cooperative Program giving for the past two years.
“J.D Greear is the right man for the right time,” Whitten observed.
Brad Jurkovich, pastor of First Baptist Church, Bossier City, La., nominated Hemphill, a longtime pastor and former president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas. Jurkovich citied Hemphill’s evangelistic zeal. He also observed that every church Hemphill served as pastor averaged more than 9 percent in giving through the Cooperative Program.
“He is God’s gift to Southern Baptists today,” Jurkovich said. — Lonnie Wilkey