North Carolina pastor Clint Pressley elected SBC president in 2nd runoff


INDIANAPOLIS — Emerging from a field of six candidates, North Carolina pastor Clint Pressley has been elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention during its annual meeting in Indianapolis on Wednesday.

Pressley, pastor of Hickory Grove Baptist Church in Charlotte, won in a second runoff with 4,244 votes (56.12%) against Tennessee pastor Dan Spencer who received 3,305 votes (43.71%). Pressley was nominated by Chris Justice, senior pastor of Lee Park Baptist Church in Monroe, North Carolina.

The other four candidates in this year’s presidential election included: North Carolina pastor Bruce Frank, Oklahoma pastor Mike Keahbon, Tennessee pastor Jared Moore, and Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary professor David Allen.

In the runoff election leading to a second runoff, 8,537 votes were cast and 30 disallowed ballots. Pressley received 3,330  (39.01%); Spencer received 2,600 (30.46%) and Allen received 2,577 (30.19%). Because one of the candidates did not reach 50%, a second run-off vote was needed.

In the first vote, 8,970 ballots were cast and 15 disallowed ballots. Pressley received 2,289 (25.52%); Allen received 1,896 (21.14%); Spencer received 1,585 17.67%; Bruce Frank received 1,396 votes (15.56%); Moore received 921 votes (10.27%); and  Keahbone received 868 (9.68%).

Pressley served as vice president of the SBC Pastors Conference in 2013. He also served as first vice president of the SBC 2014–2015. In 2015, he served as a trustee — which included time as trustee chair — for Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He also has served on the board of directors for the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina.

Weeks before the Convention, Pressley noted he was first approached a few years ago about being nominated and after praying it through, he “did not feel as if it was the right time.”

“This summer, after the Convention, I was approached again, so my wife and I started to pray it through and felt like this is a great time to run,” he said. “I love the SBC, have a sense of indebtedness to it and would count it a great honor to serve as president.”

If elected, Pressley said he’d want to accomplish the following:

1. “I want us to celebrate the Truths we hold dear like the sufficiency of Scripture, the power of the gospel and the need for evangelism.

2. “I want us to strengthen the churches investing in pastors, especially young pastors. With so many of our churches without pastors and the average age of pastors continuing to be on the rise, we need to do all we can to promote and call out those God has already called to serve his church.

3. “I want us to focus on the mission. We certainly have significant issues to face and our own housecleaning to do, but we have a great house. The genius of our connectivity and cooperation has led us to be the largest mission agency in the world. We need to celebrate that, promote that and focus on the mission. We are a great commission convention and we need to be great at the mission.”


This story first appeared in The Baptist Paper.