Editor’s Note: J.D. Greear graciously withdrew his nomination for president of the Southern Baptist Convention and asked those who supported him to support Steve Gaines. Gaines was then elected by acclamation. Complete story to follow later.
ST. LOUIS (BP) — Although an announcement of a new Southern Baptist Convention president was expected on Tuesday (June 14), no clear winner was determined the day of election.
A run-off between nominees North Carolina pastor J.D. Greear and Memphis-area pastor Steve Gaines failed to provide a clear majority, as required by Roberts Rules of Order. A second run-off election between the two pastors has been scheduled for the Wednesday morning session at 10:58 a.m.
SBC President Ronnie Floyd reported results of the run-off election at the beginning of the Tuesday night session. Of the 7,230 messengers registered at the time of the first runoff, 4,824 ballots were cast. To be declared a winner, a nominee is required to win 50 percent plus 1 of ballots cast, or 2,413 or more votes.
Gaines received 2,410 votes or 49.96 percent while Greear received 2,306 votes or 47.80 percent. However, 108 votes were considered illegal because the wrong ballot was used or an indistinguishable mark was made.
In explaining the first runoff results, lead parliamentarian Barry McCarty said “there is no doubt what the vote is. It has been counted and recounted.”
But Roberts Rules of Order require that the 108 illegal votes be counted to determine a majority, he said. “The rules are clear.”
The three nominees for SBC president were Gaines, Greear and New Orleans pastor David Crosby.
In the first ballot cast by 5,784 messengers, Crosby received 583 votes or 10.08 percent; Gaines received 2,551 votes, or 44.1 percent of the votes; and Greear received 2,601 votes, or 44.97 percent. None of the candidates received 50 percent or more of the votes.
The new SBC president will succeed Ronnie Floyd, pastor of Cross Church in Northwest Ark.