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First, Jacksonville, pastor plans retirementcomment (0)

January 6, 2000

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Homer Lindsay Jr., pastor of First Baptist Church in Jacksonville for nearly 31 years, announced Dec. 19 that he will retire at the end of March.

The church will reportedly seek a younger co-pastor to work alongside former Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) president Jerry Vines, who has shared duties with Lindsay in that role for 17 years.

Lindsay, 72, succeeded his father, Homer Lindsay Sr., as pastor in 1969. The downtown church had about 2,600 members at the time. Today, it has a membership of 26,000, ranking it third in size among more than 40,000 churches affiliated with the SBC.

The church is probably best known in Southern Baptist life for its winter pastors’ conference, which attracts a crowd of several thousand each year. Candidacies of several conservatives who were later elected SBC president during the 1980s were announced at that gathering.

The surprise announcement reportedly stunned church members. Lindsay, who has a history of heart problems, had previously said he planned to try to remain in the pulpit until he is 80.

Even Vines said while he and Lindsay had discussed and prayed about retirement, he didn’t expect the announcement when it came, The Florida Times Union reported. Lindsay did not say specifically what led him to his decision other than it has come “to the time and place for me to announce my retirement.”

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