PHOENIX — Atlanta-area pastor Bryant Wright was elected to a
second term as president of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), defeating
California pastor Wiley Drake by a vote of 2,274-102 June 14 at the SBC annual
meeting in Phoenix.
Wright, pastor of Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Marietta, was nominated to a
second term by David Platt, senior pastor of The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham,
Ala. Drake, pastor of First Southern Baptist Church in Buena Park, Calif.,
Of the 2,384 votes cast, Wright received 95.39 percent; Drake received 4.26
In nominating the SBC president for a second term, Platt said Wright “possesses
a deep passion for Christ and a deep love for the local church and a deep
respect for this convention of churches that he’s a part of.”
During the past year as SBC president, Platt said Wright “has graciously and
faithfully served Southern Baptist churches, encouraging us to work alongside
one another in the advancement of Kingdom of Christ and the accomplishment of
the Great Commission.”
Platt recounted he had traveled with Wright to the Middle East two weeks
earlier and saw him “come beside pastors and (International Mission Board)
missionaries, caring for them, praying for them, weeping with them, standing
“Amidst all of our talk about the Great Commission, this is a brother who is
doing it. He pastors a church full of people who are passionate about spreading
the Gospel both locally and globally. This is not an ‘either or’ for them. This
is a ‘both and.’ The people of Johnson Ferry are active in sharing Christ all
across Atlanta, baptizing hundreds of new believers this last year, ministering
to urgent spiritual and physical need all across their community.
And then they
are directly involved in ministries to more than 30 different countries around
As SBC president, Platt said Wright has “modeled Kingdom-minded, Christ-exalting
servant leadership on behalf of Southern Baptist churches.”
In 2010, Johnson Ferry Baptist Church reported primary worship attendance of
4,133; 310 baptisms; undesignated receipts of $15,636,281; Cooperative Program
contributions of $547,270; a Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International
Missions gift of $686,298; an Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North
American Missions gift of $22,979; and $3,009,383 in total missions
While the Annual Church Profile report showed slightly different numbers in
certain categories, the difference may be due to the fact that Johnson Ferry
reports its Annual Church Profile (ACP) information based on a Sept. 1-Aug. 31
church year, while the Georgia Baptist Convention and LifeWay reports use a Jan.
1-Dec. 31 year.
Wright has served as pastor of Johnson Ferry Baptist Church since December
1981, when it was a mission with 20 families. Now the congregation encompasses
8,000 members and seven Sunday morning worship services with a weekly
attendance of more than 4,133.
Wright has led Johnson Ferry to plant and co-sponsor 13 new churches — seven in
the metro Atlanta area and six in various areas throughout the U.S. The
congregation sent 1,600 members on short-term mission trips in 2010.
Wright holds a master of divinity degree from Southern Baptist Theological
Seminary in Louisville, Ky., and a bachelor of arts in English from the
University of South Carolina in Columbia. After graduating from college, he
worked for Puritan Chemical Company in Augusta., Ga., for two and a half years
before enrolling in seminary.
After seminary, Wright was minister to single adults/college at Second Baptist
Church in Houston, Texas, before going to Johnson Ferry.
He and his wife Anne have three children and three grandchildren.
In nominating himself, Drake offered no additional words, succinctly placing
his own name into the contest.
From 2006-07, he served as second vice president
of the SBC, elected in Greensboro.
His self-nomination is not unique in SBC history. A number of years ago,
Alabama evangelist Anis Shorrosh also placed his own name in nomination for SBC
In 2010, First Southern Baptist Church in Buena Park reported via the ACP
primary worship attendance of 45; 97 baptisms; no undesignated receipts; Cooperative
Program contributions of $500; no gifts for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering
for International Missions; no gifts for the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering
for North American Missions; and $1,250 in total missions expenditures.
(EDITOR’S NOTE — Denman is director of communications for the Florida Baptist