SAVANNAH — First Alpharetta pastor Thomas Hammond was elected by acclamation to a second term as Georgia Baptist Convention president on Nov. 15. Hammond received a standing ovation during the nomination and voting process as messengers overwhelmingly affirmed his message of unity among churches and a strong emphasis on evangelism.
The election was held during the 195th annual session of the Georgia Baptist Convention meeting at Calvary Baptist Temple in Savannah.
The previous evening Hammond detailed his Big Invite which will call Georgia Baptists statewide to join a massive effort to invite one-million unchurched to Easter Sunday services.
“I would like to have all of our churches participate but if only 2,500 of our 3,593 churches invited 400 people each – some more, some less depending on their location – we would have the million invitations,” he said.
Hammond noted that studies from Lifeway Christian Resources showed that 83% of Americans said they would be “somewhat likely” to visit a church if someone invited them. But the other side is that only 2% of believers ever invite someone to their church, he added.
An eight-week preparation time for churches to gear up for the event will precede the emphasis as churches will need to be ready for a larger attendance.
“If you invite them, they will come,” he stated.
Hammond has also rolled out a pastor prayer partner network to build fellowship and spiritual support among the group.
Danny Henson, pastor of New Liberty Baptist Church in Ringgold, was re-elected recording secretary. Freddie Rhodes, pastor of Westview Baptist Church in Hawkinsville, and Tom Vann, pastor of Rentz Baptist Church in Rentz, were elected as assistant recording secretaries.
A new slate of vice presidents were also elected. Those include Jim Perdue, pastor of Second Baptist Church in Warner Robins, as first vice president; Joey Taylor, pastor of Springhead Baptist Church in Adel, second vice president; Levi Skipper, pastor of Concord Baptist Church in Clermont, third vice president; and Richard Statham, pastor of Salem Baptist Church in McDonough, as fourth vice president.
Next year’s 196th annual meeting will be held at North Metro First Baptist Church in Lawrenceville.