By Art Toalston
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (BP) — Noe Garcia, senior pastor of North Phoenix Baptist Church, will be nominated as second vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention during the SBC’s June 11-12 annual meeting, Tennessee pastor Micah Fries has announced.
Fries, senior pastor of Brainerd Baptist Church in Chattanooga, said Garcia can be “a tremendous asset to the SBC” at a time “when Southern Baptists are struggling with questions like how we can see more people trust Christ, how to reach our increasingly diverse communities, and how we can continue to see our influence spread far beyond the Southeastern United States.”
Garcia has led the Arizona church since 2016. He previously held staff positions at Cross Church in northwest Arkansas; First Baptist Church in Nashville; and Second Baptist Church in Houston.
He is a member of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission’s Leadership Council and the SBC Executive Committee’s Convention Advancement Advisory Council and a trustee of Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. He served on the 2017-2018 SBC Evangelism Task Force and the EC’s Young Leaders’ Advisory Council and, in 2017, was a member of the SBC Committee on Committees.
North Phoenix Baptist Church, according to the SBC’s Annual Church Profile in 2018, recorded 97 baptisms, averaged 1,480 in worship attendance, counted 12,365 members and gave $100,000 through the Cooperative Program, or 2.5 percent of $4,013,313 in undesignated receipts. CP is Southern Baptists’ unified channel of support for missions and ministries in each state and across North America and the world.
“When Noe arrived at North Phoenix the church was 90 percent Anglo,” Fries said. “Today their staff estimates that half of the church is made up of ethnic minorities.”
Garcia holds a doctor of ministry and executive leadership degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.; an M.Div. from Gateway Seminary in Ontario, Caliornia, where he is an adjunct professor; and an undergraduate degree in kinesiology from East Texas Baptist University in Marshall, Texas.
“Noe’s story,” Fries said in announcing Garcia’s nomination May 18, “is one of grace and redemption. Growing up in a deeply broken home, Noe began using drugs and alcohol in the sixth grade. He continued to walk far away from the Lord until he attempted to commit suicide at 18 years old. It was after this experience that God grabbed his heart and Noe began walking with Him.”
Garcia and his wife Clancey have four children.
To date, Garcia is the lone nominee for SBC second vice president to be elected during the convention’s June 11-12 annual meeting in Birmingham.
Art Toalston is senior editor of Baptist Press.