In one of two runoff elections at the 2022 Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) annual meeting, Bart Barber, pastor of First Baptist Church (FBC) of Farmersville, Texas, was elected SBC president June 14 in a runoff with Florida pastor Tom Ascol.
Barber received 3,401 votes (60.87%) to Ascol’s 2,172 (38.88%). He succeeds Ed Litton, pastor of Redemption Church in Saraland, Ala., who presided over his one and only meeting after declining to seek a second term.
In the initial round of ballots–a four-way contest that also included Frank Cox, pastor of North Metro Baptist Church in Lawrenceville, Ga., and Robin Hadaway, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary Professor and former International Mission Board missionary–Barber garnered the most ballots, with 3,258 votes, or 47.58%. Ascol received 2,332 votes, or 34.06%, while 8,874 ballots (12.95%) were cast for Cox, and 340 votes (4.97%) for Hadaway.
First Vice President
Victor Chayasirisobhon, pastor of First Southern Baptist Church in Anaheim, Calif., and president of the California SBC, was elected first vice president.
Of the 3,413 ballots cast, Chayasirisobhon received 1,711 votes (50.13%), and Brad Eubank, senior pastor of Petal FBC in Petal, Miss. received 1,685 votes (49.37%). Seventeen votes were disallowed.
In nominating Chayasirisobhon, Abel Galvan, senior pastor of Faith Fellowship Church in La Palma, Calif., said, “Victor loves this convention. He loves our people. He desires to see our convention united in love for Jesus Christ, united in love for one another. And we are united as we continue to respond to the needs that are pressing about us.”
Second Vice President
Alex Sands, senior pastor and planter of Kingdom Life Church in Simpsonville, S.C., was elected SBC second vice president in a runoff against Michigan pastor Rodolfo Diaz-Pons.
Of the 3,552 ballots cast, Sands received 2,121 votes (59.71%), while Diaz-Pons, senior pastor of Riverbend Baptist Church in St. Louis, Mich., received 1,426 (40.15%).
In the initial round, Sands received most of the 3,758 ballots, with 1,689 votes (44.94%) in a three-way contest. Diaz received 1,030 votes (27.41%), while 1,029 ballots (27.38%) were cast for Ryan Fullerton, lead pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Louisville, Ky. Ten were disallowed.
Sands was nominated by Josh Powell, lead pastor of Taylors First Baptist in Taylors, S.C., and former South Carolina Baptist Convention president.
Nathan Finn, provost at North Greenville University, was elected SBC Recording Secretary, a position that has not changed hands in 25 years. John Yeats, executive director of the Missouri Baptist Convention, has been elected to the position unopposed 22 of the last 25 years. He opted not to seek reelection in 2022.
Of the 5,315 ballots cast, Finn received 2,727 votes (51.31%), Javier Chavez, pastor of Amistad Cristiana Church in Gainesville, Ga., received 1,836 votes (34.54 %) and David Roach, senior pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church in Saraland, Ala., received 741 votes (13.94%). Eleven votes were disallowed.
“Nathan is a world-class scholar, a faithful preacher of God’s Word …, a voice for the gospel and a dear friend,” said David Sons, pastor of Lake Murray Baptist Church in Lexington, S.C., in his nomination. “I know of no one better qualified to tell our story, to help express and encapsulate our cooperative efforts, than one who has dedicated his life and ministry to doing that very work.”
Don Currence, administrative pastor at FBC in Ozark, Mo., was elected SBC Registration Secretary by acclamation.
In nominating Currence, Amy Whitfield described him as a cheerful man with integrity.
“Don is one of the most selfless people I’ve ever met. He does his work with joy and is an example to all who participate in the annual meeting,” said Whitfield, a messenger from the Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, N.C. “How we do what we do matters. Don Currence represents the best of us.”
Currence served as registration secretary in 2018-19 and at the 2022 SBC annual meeting in Anaheim, Calif. He also previously served as assistant registration secretary for 12 years.
Todd Unzicker, executive director-treasurer of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, was selected as the 2023 SBC annual meeting convention speaker with Jim Shaddix, professor of preaching at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C., serving as alternate. James Cheesman, associate pastor and worship leader at FBC Farmersville, Texas, was selected as convention music director.
The 2023 SBC annual meeting is scheduled for June 13-14 in New Orleans, La.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Robin Cornetet is managing editor of Kentucky Today (kentuckytoday.com), a news resource of the Kentucky Baptist Convention.)