Wright re-elected SBC president

Baptist Press
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Posted: Jun 14, 2011 10:22 PM
Wright re-elected SBC president
PHOENIX (BP)--Atlanta-area pastor Bryant Wright was elected to a second term as president of the Southern Baptist Convention, 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., nominated himself.

Of the 2,384 votes cast, Wright received 95.39 percent; Drake received 4.26 percent.

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 IMB missionaries, caring for them, praying for them, weeping with them, standing beside them."

"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 the world."

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 expenditures.

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 information based on a Sept. 1 - Aug. 31 church year, while the GBC 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, N.C.

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 president.

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.

Barbara Denman is director of communications for the Florida Baptist Convention.

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