Patterson, Willis, endorse Floyd candidacy

TRONG>Related Story: SBC presidential candidate: Spiritual renewal needed

SAN ANTONIO?Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary President Paige Patterson and retired International Mission Board senior vice president for overseas operations Avery Willis have joined Georgia Pastor Johnny Hunt’s call for Ronnie Floyd to be elected SBC president next month. Floyd serves as Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church of Springdale, Ark., and The Church at Pinnacle Hills, Rogers, Ark.

Floyd has served in Arkansas for 20 years, although his ministry began in Texas. Born in a rural community, Floyd said he was raised in a small Texas church averaging 40-50 attendees on a big day. Floyd pursued a call to the ministry by attending Howard Payne University and completing M.Div. and D.Min. degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth. Presently, Floyd acts as trustee of Guidestone Financial Services located in Dallas.

Hunt, long-time pastor of First Baptist Church, Woodstock, Ga, will nominate Floyd for the presidency.

In an interview with the Southern Baptist Texan, Hunt esteemed Floyd’s ability to motivate Southern Baptists to fulfill the Great Commission with “leadership par excellence.”

“I was with him when he started the Pinnacle Hills satellite campus,” Hunt said, noting he has observed and worked with Floyd during their 20-year friendship. Throughout this time, Hunt said Floyd has not wavered in his commitment to missions and evangelism.

Avery Willis believes that a spiritual awakening among Southern Baptists was both needed and possible. According to Willis, Floyd could be the man God is raising up to move churches toward obedience to God.

“About 10 years ago, Ronnie began to speak on spiritual awakening, and he took that message across America because it was in his heart, and now he recognizes that it must begin within the local church. I agree with him. If it doesn’t happen in our churches, we are not going to see it all,” Willis told the Southern Baptist Texan.

“I believe spiritual awakening is the great1:PersonName w:st=”on”>test need in America. The reason we don’t baptize 1 million people a year is so many churches are apathetic, lethargic, or dead. I told Ronnie that ‘I pray that God will use you to spread the fires of revival in our land.”

“[Ronnie] lives in the same area that I do, and I’ve had the opportunities to not only be with him, but to listen to many of his people talk about him, and integrity is always something that comes to mind when talking about Ronnie,” Willis added.

Having already served as president and chief executive officer of the SBC Executive Committee, Hunt believes God has uniquely prepared Floyd to serve Southern Baptists in a wider role.

“I feel that Ronnie has experience based on 10 years on the SBC Executive Committee, to know the denomination, to work with agencies, and to face things the SBC is facing these days,” Hunt said.<SPAN style="; COLOR: black; LINE-HEIGHT: 150%; FONT-FAMILY: 'Trebuchet MS'; mso-bidi-font-famil</ti

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