Southern Baptist Convention President Johnny Hunt says that he has prostate cancer and expects to have surgery in January.
The 57-year-old Hunt, pastor of the Atlanta-area First Baptist Church of Woodstock, said Monday he believes the cancer was detected early.
In a statement released through the Baptist Press, he asked for people's prayers and said the diagnosis was a reminder of his mortality _ but also his faith.
Hunt was elected SBC president at the convention's June 2008 annual meeting in Indianapolis and re-elected at this year's meeting in Louisville, Ky.
With 16.2 million members, the Nashville-based SBC is the largest Protestant denomination in the U.S.