NEW ORLEANS – Messengers to the 2012 annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) elected Nathan Lino as SBC first vice president June 19 and Dave Miller as second vice president June 20.
Lino, church planting pastor of Northeast Houston Baptist Church in Humble, Texas, for the last 10 years, is a trustee of the International Mission Board and a former first vice president of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention.
The only candidate for SBC first vice president, Lino was elected by acclamation as voiced by the traditional sole ballot of the recording secretary.
Lino was nominated by Ken Whitten, pastor of Idlewild Baptist Church in Lutz, Fla.
“If you want to look at the character of a pastor, look at three things in his life: Look at his family, look at his heart and look at his church,” Whitten said in his nomination speech.
Lino believes the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 “can keep us tied in unity for years to come,” Whitten said.
“Nathan believes the light that shines the farthest still shines the brightest at home,” Whitten said, noting that the church also has a six-day a week pregnancy/medical ministry in Houston’s Fifth Ward that he estimates will save the lives of 2,000 babies this year.
For Miller, an earlier vote narrowed the field to two candidates. Miller, Eric Hankins and Brad Atkins had each been nominated. Hankins had joined Miller in a runoff election, when none of the three had acquired a majority of votes.
Miller, pastor of Southern Hills Baptist Church in Sioux City, Iowa, and editor of SBCVoices.com, was nominated by Alan Cross, pastor of Gateway Baptist Church in Montgomery, Ala. Hankins, pastor of First Baptist Church in Oxford, Miss., was nominated by Clint Pressley, pastor of Hickory Grove Baptist Church in Charlotte, N.C. Atkins, pastor of Powdersville First Baptist Church in Easley, S.C., was nominated by Johnny Touchet, pastor of Mt. Moriah Baptist Church in Piedmont, S.C.
“We are already unified,” Cross declared. “If we are all in Christ, then we are already one. That’s a spiritual reality we are called to live out daily. Dave Miller … gets that and lives to promote that reality among Baptists. … He takes seriously what it means to walk with Christ and follow him.”
While the other two presenters lauded the accomplishments of their candidates, Cross focused on Miller’s vision to bring unity to the Southern Baptist Convention. As the editor of a widely read blog – www.sbcvoices.com – Miller wants “to call all Baptists to be unified in our worship of Christ together,” Cross said.
“We must be intentional to include at the table of leadership a small church pastor from the pioneer areas of Southern Baptist work,” Cross also noted. “We need Dave’s voice to help us work together. If we are serious about reaching all of America, we need leaders from all of America.”
The final vote was 1,202 for Miller, or 59.5 percent of the ballots cast. Hankins received 798 votes, or 39.5 percent.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Karen L. Willoughby is managing editor of the Louisiana Baptist Convention.)