Johnny Hunt advises be ‘close and clean’
Dianna L. Cagle, BR Assistant Managing Editor
April 09, 2010

Johnny Hunt advises be ‘close and clean’

Johnny Hunt advises be ‘close and clean’
Dianna L. Cagle, BR Assistant Managing Editor
April 09, 2010

WAKE FOREST — Pastors should surround

themselves with the best team possible, Southern Baptist Convention President

Johnny Hunt told Southeastern Seminary students March 25.

“You will learn in

leadership that it’s just not what you have been empowered and enabled and

gifted to do, it’s having the capacity to bring better people around you that

will really help you be the leader God called you to be,” said Hunt, pastor of

First Baptist Church in Woodstock, Ga., and a Southeastern graduate.

Hunt also shared the recent

news that he is cancer free, after just learning surgery for prostate cancer in

January was a success.

While the average pastor is

sound theologically, Hunt said he has learned during his 34 years as a pastor

that they are “in trouble relationally” and in their stewardship. That’s why he

works with pastors.

Preaching out of James 1,

Hunt emphasized that “not everyone that hears God’s word welcomes it. Our best

people oftentimes don’t welcome it.”

Only converted after his

brother’s death and resurrection, Hunt called James a practical preacher.

God used James to tell the

people “God will use these trials to make you a better believer,” Hunt said.

The trials one faces can

prove faith, but “life at best is short so make it count,” Hunt said.

BR photo by Dianna L. Cagle

Johnny Hunt stuck around after his chapel sermon at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary to talk with a line of people.

A problem people have is not

dealing with evil or sin. He urged students to “keep a short list and confess

it and stay clean before God.”

Only a “steady diet of the

Word of God” will save someone from reproach, Hunt said.

“God’s not looking for

somebody as smart as Him, God’s looking for somebody that’s just so in love

with Him and so overwhelmed with who He is that knows if anything’s ever to

happen He’ll have to do it,” he said.

People are looking for

someone who is different.

“They don’t want somebody to

crawl down in the pit with them, they want somebody by the grace of God that

has a solid foundation to reach down and lift them up for the glory of Jesus,”

he said.

The very things James

challenged the people on in the first century, “is still the greatest sin of

the 21st century; it’s still moral impurity,” Hunt said.

He shared a phrase he uses

to remind himself of his place: “God keep me close and clean. If I stay close

to Jesus and clean before Almighty God, He’ll bless my marriage, he’ll bless my


Endowing chair

Southeastern is in the

process of endowing the Johnny Hunt Chair of Expository Preaching. The goal of

$1 million is within $115,000.

The night before his chapel

sermon, Hunt arrived in Wake Forest. He pointed out the Johnny Hunt House and

mentioned the Jan Hunt room in the president’s quarters.

“We’re trying to pay for

this chair,” Hunt said. “This chair costs more than the house and that room and


Danny Akin, Southeastern’s

president, said the process has taken about eight years, but that they’ve “made

massive progress” recently.

The endowment will free up $50,000 annually for

other expenses at the school. Greg Heisler, associate professor of preaching

and speech at Southeastern, will receive the honor of occupying the chair when

it is fully endowed.