President of the Southern Baptist Convention

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The president of the Southern Baptist Convention heads the convention and is elected at the Annual Meeting. The president's duties include presiding over the annual meeting; appointing members to SBC committees; serving as an ex officio member of the board of SBC entities including the International Mission Board, the North American Mission Board, and Lifeway Christian Resources; and representing the SBC to other Baptist denominations and to the press.[1]

Although the SBC Bylaws do not specifically state that only a male may be elected as president, no female has ever served as such (the majority of presidents have been pastors of churches, which according to the Baptist Faith and Message, the office of pastor is limited to men only). Any person may be nominated and there is no requirement that a candidate announce his intent to run prior to the Annual Meeting (during the 2022 Annual Meeting, three candidates announced their intent to run, and a fourth candidate was nominated at the Annual Meeting). If only one candidate is nominated, the secretary of the SBC (or any designee) may cast the ballot. If three or more candidates are nominated, and no candidate receives a majority on the first ballot, subsequent ballots shall carry all candidates in the top 50 percent of the prior ballot. Proxy voting is not allowed.

Under SBC Bylaws, the term is for one year, and a candidate can serve a maximum of two consecutive terms, after which he must sit out a year before standing for re-election.[2] Prior to the current bylaws, presidents could serve more than two terms and frequently did: P.H. Mell served a total of 16 years (over two terms spanning eight years each), the most of any president. The service year overlaps with two calendar years as the Annual Meeting is held in June, and the term starts upon completion of the Annual Meeting (thus, at the Annual Meeting, the incumbent president serves until the Annual Meeting concludes, after which the elected president—whether incumbent or new—will begin his term).

Since the advent of the current bylaws, the custom has been for the president to serve two consecutive terms, but not run again after the one-year stand-down period; however, it is not uncommon for a president to serve only one term and then step down and not run again. But, two persons have served as president for more than the customary two terms since that time:

  • Adrian Rogers served as president for a single term in 1979–1980 and then again for two consecutive terms in 1987–1988 and 1988–1989.
  • When the 2020 Annual Meeting was cancelled for the first time in 75 years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, incumbent President J.D. Greear's term was extended to a third year despite the normal term limit, since his replacement could not be elected until the next meeting.[3]
No. Image President Years in Office State
1 William Bullein Johnson.jpg William Bullein Johnson 1845–1851 South Carolina
2 R.B.C. Howell[4] 1851–1859 Virginia and Tennessee
3 RichardFuller.jpg Richard Fuller 1859–1863 South Carolina
4 Patrick Hues Mell.png P.H. Mell 1863–1871 Georgia
5 JamesPetriguBoyce.jpg James P. Boyce 1872–1879 South Carolina and Kentucky
6 P.H. Mell 1880–1887 Georgia
7 JamesPetriguBoyce.jpg James P. Boyce 1888 Kentucky
8 Jonathan Haralson 1889–1898 Alabama
9 William J. Northen.jpg William J. Northen 1899–1901 Georgia
10 James Philip Eagle.jpg James Philip Eagle 1902–1904 Arkansas
11 E.W. Stephens 1905–1907 Missouri
12 Joshua Levering (1845-1935) (10506733086) (cropped1).jpg Joshua Levering 1908–1910 Maryland
13 Edwin C. Dargan 1911–1913 Georgia
14 Lansing Burrows 1914–1916 Georgia
15 James Bruton Gambrell (circa 1920).jpg James Bruton Gambrell 1917–1920 Texas
16 Edgar Young Mullins 1921–1923 Kentucky
17 George W. McDaniel 1924–1926 Virginia
18 GeorgeWTruett.jpg George W. Truett 1927–1929 Texas
19 W.J. McGlothin 1930–1932 South Carolina
20 F.F. Brown 1933 Tennessee
21 Monroe E. Dodd 1934–1935 Louisiana
22 John R. Sampey 1936–1938 Kentucky
23 Lee Rutland Scarborough 1939–1940 Texas
24 W.W. Hamilton 1941–1942 Louisiana
25 Patrick neff.jpg Pat Morris Neff 1944–1946 Texas
26 Louie D. Newton 1947–1948 Georgia
27 Robert G. Lee 1949–1951 Tennessee
28 J. D. Grey 1952–1953 Louisiana
29 J.W. Storer 1954–1955 Oklahoma
30 C.C. Warren 1956–1957 North Carolina
31 BrooksHays36.jpg Brooks Hays 1958–1959 Arkansas
32 Ramsey Pollard 1960–1961 Tennessee
33 Herschel H. Hobbs 1962–1963 Oklahoma
34 K. Owen White 1964 Texas
35 W. Wayne Dehoney 1965–1966 Tennessee
36 H. Franklin Paschall 1967–1968 Tennessee
37 W. A. Criswell 1969–1970 Texas
38 Carl Bates 1971–1972 North Carolina
39 Lawrence Owen Cooper 1973–1974 Mississippi
40 Jaroy Weber 1975–1976 Alabama (At this time he was the pastor of First Baptist Church Lubbock, Texas)
41 James L. Sullivan 1976–1977 Tennessee
42 Jimmy Allen 1977–1978 Texas
43 Adrian Rogers.jpg Adrian Rogers 1979–1980 Tennessee
44 Bailey Smith 1980–1982 Oklahoma
45 Jimmy Draper November 2013 (cropped).JPG James T. Draper, Jr. 1982–1984 Texas
46 Charles Stanley 2020 (QS2dw7EzUk0).jpg Charles Stanley 1984–1986 Georgia
47 Adrian Rogers.jpg Adrian Rogers 1986–1988 Tennessee
48 Jerry Vines 1988–1990 Florida
49 Morris Chapman 1990–1992 Texas
50 Dr Young.jpg Homer Edwin Young 1992–1994 Texas
51 Jim Henry 1994–1996 Florida
52 Tom Elliff 1996–1998 Oklahoma
53 Paige Patterson 1998–2000 Texas
54 James Merritt 2000–2002 Georgia
55 Jack Graham Headshot.jpg Jack Graham 2002–2004 Texas
56 Bobby Welch 2004-2006 Florida
57 Frank S. Page 2006–2008 South Carolina
58 Johnny M. Hunt 2008–2010 Georgia
59 Bryant Wright 2010–2012 Georgia
60 2015-05-07 Fred Luter Elizabeth Luter (cropped).jpg Fred Luter[1] 2012–2014 Louisiana
61 Ronnie Floyd[5] 2014–2016 Arkansas
62 Steve Gaines (cropped).jpg Steve Gaines[6] 2016–2018 Tennessee
63 J. D. Greear[7] 2018-2021 North Carolina
64 Ed Litton[8] 2021-2022 Alabama
65 Bart Barber[9] 2022- Texas

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Beachum, Andy; Rebecca, Wolford (1 September 2014). "SBC Presidents". Baptist Press. Retrieved 15 June 2021.
  2. ^ "SBC Constitution: Article 5: Officers". Retrieved 2021-06-16.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ Schroeder, George (March 24, 2020). "2020 SBC Annual Meeting canceled". Baptist Press. Retrieved 2021-06-16.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ Cathcart, William (1881). The Baptist Encyclopaedia. Everts. p. 551.
  5. ^ Baptist Press (June 10, 2014). "Ronnie Floyd wins Southern Baptist Convention presidency". Retrieved 15 June 2021.
  6. ^ Denman, Barbara (15 June 2017). "Gaines reelected as SBC President, leads diverse slate of officers". Baptist Press.
  7. ^ Denman, Barbara (12 June 2018). "J.D. Greear elected SBC president". Baptist Press. Retrieved 15 June 2021.
  8. ^ "Southern Baptists Elect A New President, Ed Litton, Who Is Seen As A Bridge Builder". NPR. 15 June 2021. Retrieved 15 June 2021.
  9. ^ "Barber elected SBC President after runoff". Baptist Press. 14 June 2022. Retrieved 15 June 2022.