North Carolina Pastor Clint Pressley elected president of Southern Baptist Convention

By The Christian Post |
Clint Pressley
Clint Pressley, pastor of Hickory Grove Baptist Church, speaks during the presidential forum in the exhibit hall of the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, Indiana, on June 10. The forum was held the night before the two-day 2024 SBC Annual Meeting. | Luc Stringer | Baptist Press

Clint Pressley, pastor of Hickory Grove Baptist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, has been elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant denomination in the United States, beating out five other candidates in an atypically crowded field.

Messengers gathered in Indianapolis, Indiana, voted Wednesday morning to elect Pressley on the second runoff ballot, with him receiving 4,244 votes or 56.12%. The first two votes were held on Tuesday evening.

Pressley defeated Dan Spencer, pastor of First Baptist Church of Sevierville, Tennessee, who, on the second runoff ballot, received 3,305 votes, or 43.71% of the vote.

The result of the first ballot was Pressley receiving 2,289 votes or 25.52%; second place was David Allen, dean of Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary’s preaching center, with 1,896 votes or 21.14%; and third place was Spencer with 1,585 votes or 17.67%.

Bruce Frank, pastor of Biltmore Church, Asheville, North Carolina, placed fourth with 15.56% of the vote; Jared Moore, pastor of Homesteads Baptist Church in Crossville, Tennessee, placed fifth with 10.27% of the vote; and Mike Keahbone, pastor of First Baptist Church of Lawton, Oklahoma, placed last with 9.68% of the vote.

Clint Pressley Youtube
Clint Pressley, lead pastor of Hickory Grove Baptist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, speaks at the chapel service at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary of Louisville, Kentucky, April 2022. | Screengrab: YouTube | Southern Seminary

The first runoff ballot was between Pressley, Allen and Spencer, since those three candidates had a total vote count that equaled more than 50% of the ballots cast in the first round.  

The results of that ballot had Pressley in first place with 3,330 votes or 39.01%, Spencer in second place with 2,600 votes or 30.46%, and third place going to Allen with 2,577 votes or 30.19%.

Since no candidate received more than 50% of the vote, a second runoff ballot was done, with messengers choosing between Pressley and Spencer, who had the two highest totals.

Pressley was nominated in January by Pastor Chris Justice of Lee Park Baptist Church in Monroe, North Carolina, who stated that he considered Pressley “to be a man of conviction who is joyfully orthodox, devoted to the Great Commission, and committed to our cooperation as Southern Baptists.”

Justice also said that Pressley “has led his church to plant and revitalize other churches, send missionaries, and sacrificially given to the Cooperative Program and Great Commission causes.”

While Pressley was the first announced nominee for SBC president, Spencer was the last, being nominated by Chris Kendall, senior pastor of Oak City Baptist Church in Seymour, Tennessee, in April.

“I believe that Dan Spencer is the unifier that would benefit our collective to refocus on what matters most. It’s the people that God has put before us to reach with the Gospel and make disciples,” stated Kendall, as reported by The Baptist Press.

“His love for God and people has positioned him to make the necessary biblical decisions (as a leader) when it comes to faith and practice. … Dan is competent to lead at the denominational level. He also has what’s most essential — the character to back it up.”

Pressley will succeed Bart Barber, who was elected president of the SBC in 2022 and then reelected last year but was required to step down as individuals are not allowed to serve two consecutive terms.

Originally published by The Christian Post