Nation overdue for ‘a great movement of the Lord,’ Floyd sayscomment (0)
June 19, 2014
Ronnie Floyd, the newly elected Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) president, has his heart set on seeing Southern Baptists come together in “explicit agreement, visible union and extraordinary prayer” for the next Great Awakening of the United States.
Floyd, pastor of the five-campus Cross Church in Northwest Arkansas, received 1,834 votes June 10, outpolling the other two other nominees — Maryland pastor Dennis Kim and Kentucky pastor Jared Moore.
The new SBC president succeeds Fred Luter Jr., pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church, New Orleans, who became the first African-American to lead the SBC when he was elected in 2012.
With 5,001 registered messengers at the time of the vote and 3,553 ballots cast, Floyd received 51.62 percent of the votes. Kim, pastor of Global Mission Church of Greater Washington, Silver Spring, Md., received 1,446 votes or 40.70 percent while Moore, pastor of New Salem Baptist Church, Hustonville, Ky., and current second vice president of the SBC, received 210 votes or 5.91 percent.
Elected to serve with Floyd were former Alabama Baptist pastor Clint Pressley, pastor of Hickory Grove Baptist Church, Charlotte, N.C., as first vice president and Hance Dilbeck, pastor of Quail Springs Baptist Church, Oklahoma City, Okla., as second vice president.
Voicing his conviction for the need of a great awakening in a news conference following his election, Floyd said the nation is overdue for “a great movement of the Lord.”
“Wherever I go I want to help tell the story of what God is doing across North America and the world,” Floyd said. Through a Web-based relationship, he said he will call the entire denomination to pray for spiritual awakening.
Floyd said he believes the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19–20 will be “accelerated to completion in this generation.”
Voicing his love for the SBC, Floyd spoke of the 10,000 missionaries serving in North America and around the world who are “committed to discipleship, evangelism and planting gospel churches.” He cited the 16,000 ministers and missionaries being prepared in the six “conservative seminaries who are committed to biblical inerrancy,” along with the 50,000 churches and missions in the convention, 1,100 Baptist associations, 42 state conventions and 12 entities all coming together for the single purpose of reaching the world for Jesus Christ.
He commended the ministry of Southern Baptists as reflected in the compassion ministries of Baptist Global Response around the world and disaster relief units operated by state conventions in partnership with the North American Mission Board.
In reference to younger Southern Baptists’ participation at the annual meeting, Floyd said he sees “an excitement in that generation like I haven’t seen in a long time and am grateful to God for it.” He said he hopes to encourage the committee planning the 2015 SBC sessions in Columbus, Ohio, to make it “a little more fluid” across generations.
Floyd praised plans to host annual meetings in areas beyond the South and already has begun planning for travel to new work areas. Floyd also affirmed the importance of state conventions in providing ministries that cannot be offered at the national level, citing children’s homes and Baptist colleges and universities as examples.
“I’m not for duplication or triplication going on in Southern Baptist work, but we need to understand what everybody brings as value to the team” in fulfilling the Great Commission, he said. “We need to trust one another and talk to each other instead of about each other.”
Only God knows
Asked whether he foresees a time when Southern Baptists may have to exercise civil disobedience in the face of religious oppression, Floyd said only God knows. He recounted the historic commitment of Southern Baptists to religious liberty not only for themselves but for all people. Praising the “convictional kindness” of Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission President Russell D. Moore in speaking to difficult issues, Floyd said he will seek his help when asked to be that voice for Southern Baptists.
Floyd holds doctor of ministry and master of divinity degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.
He and his wife, Jeana, have been married 37 years and have two married sons and six grandchildren.