Jack Graham (pastor)

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Jack Graham
Born June 30, 1950
Conway, Arkansas

Jack Graham is the pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church and the voice of PowerPoint Ministries, the broadcast ministry of Prestonwood. Prestonwood is one of the United States' largest congregations, with a membership exceeding 32,000.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Conway, Arkansas, young Graham was baptized at First Baptist Church in his hometown. From there, his life took a steady course into ministry that continued during his formative years in Fort Worth, Texas. In 1970, at age 20, he was an ordained pastor of his first church, married and halfway through Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas, where he went on to earn a bachelor of science degree with honors.

By 1976, he and his wife, Deb, had one son, and Graham was associate pastor of Sagamore Hill Baptist Church in Fort Worth, pastored by G. Fred Swank.[2] That year he also completed work for a Master of Divinity degree with honors from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Four more years went by (by this time, the Grahams had two children), and Graham received a Doctor of Ministry degree in “Church and Proclamation.”

Career[edit]

Graham began his ministry as pastor of East Side Baptist in Cross Plains, Texas (1970–1971). Following his associate pastorate at Sagamore Hill Baptist Church (1972–1975), he went on to pastor First Baptist Church in Hobart, Oklahoma (1975–1978), First Baptist Church in Duncan, Oklahoma (1978–1981), and First Baptist Church in West Palm Beach, Florida (1981–1989).

In 1989, Prestonwood Baptist Church, then a Dallas congregation with a membership of approximately 11,000, called Graham as pastor after its founding pastor, Bill Weber, admitted to an extramarital affair and resigned.[3] As the church family continued to increase by some 2,000 members annually, leaders and members prayed, investigated, deliberated and finally, in 1999 built a new 7,500 seat [4] worship facility, school and ministry complex on 150 acres (0.61 km2) in west Plano.

In 2006, Prestonwood opened its second campus in Prosper, near U.S. Highway 380 and Dallas Parkway.  That same year, the church also completed a new children's wing and updated its facilities for PowerPoint Ministries, including an upgrade to High Definition (HDTV).

In 2011, Prestonwood purchased the property formerly belonging to Hillcrest Church and established a Dallas Campus—just a few miles from the community center where Prestonwood was born. More than 2,300 attended the first worship service at the Dallas campus on August 21, 2011.

The church reached the 32,000-member mark in 2013, with regular attendance at worship services averaging around 17,000.[5]

Graham has served two terms as president of the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest American Protestant denomination, with 16 million members, and as president of the SBC Pastor’s Conference. Paul Pressler, the retired judge from Houston who was a leading figure in the Southern Baptist Convention Conservative resurgence in 1979, served in 2002 as the first vice-president with Graham as the SBC president.[6]

Theological views[edit]

Graham's theological views reflect the Southern Baptist Convention's Baptist Faith and Message.[7]

Published works[edit]

  • You Can Make a Difference (1992)
  • Diamonds in the Dark (1997)
  • Lessons from the Heart (2001)
  • A Hope and a Future (2002)
  • Life According to Jesus (2004)
  • A Man of God (2005)
  • Courageous Parenting (2006)
  • Are You Fit for Life? (2007)
  • A Daily Encounter With God (2009)
  • Powering Up (2009)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Prestonwood Baptist History page
  2. ^ Bonnie Pritchett (October 22, 2010). "Ft. Worth church produced Baptist leaders". Southern Baptist Texan. Retrieved July 5, 2011. 
  3. ^ Parmley, Helen, Prestonwood Pastor Resigns, Dallas Morning News, 1988-10-09
  4. ^ Jack Graham Bio Page at Prestonwood
  5. ^ "Quick Facts - Prestonwood Baptist Church". Prestonwood Baptist Church. February 29, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Marv Knox, Graham, Pressler, McCall top SBC leadership". Baptist Standard, June 10, 2002. Retrieved September 30, 2013. 
  7. ^ Jack Graham's Beliefs, www.powerpoint.org

External links[edit]