Louisiana pastor to nominate Barber for second term as SBC president

LAKE CHARLES, La. (BP)—Trinity Baptist Church pastor Steven James announced Monday (Feb. 13) his intent to re-nominate Texas pastor Bart Barber for SBC president at the 2023 SBC Annual Meeting in New Orleans this June. Barber was elected to the position for the first time at last summer’s gathering in Anaheim.

James and Barber know one another well due to their time together on the board of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

“During our time together, I watched first-hand his genuine understanding of his role in that capacity,” James said in an email to Baptist Press. “I found him to be biblical in his approach to the responsibilities that were assigned to him, prayerful in the matters that were presented to him and forthright with the subjects that concerned him.”

Referring to Barber’s multiple media interviews including the one with Anderson Cooper on 60 Minutes, James said Barber “has been true statesman in his evaluation of the condition of our Convention. When asked some very pointed questions He never compromised the Word of God or downplayed the problems that are confronting us as a Convention or a nation. At the same time, he expressed a very positive outlook about the future of the SBC.

“Having listened to Bart preach I know that he is conservative in his beliefs. Coupled with that he is consistent in his walk with the Lord. In addition to everything else over the past year, he has diligently and devotedly served us well as our president.”

In addition to chairing the Committee on Resolutions at the 2022 annual meeting, Barber served on the committee in 2021, preached at the SBC Pastors’ Conference in 2017, served as first vice president of the SBC from 2013-2014, served on the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention executive board from 2008-2014 (including serving as chairman and vice chairman), served as a trustee for Southwestern from 2009-2019 and served on the SBC Committee on Committees in 2008. He also previously taught as an adjunct professor at SWBTS from 2006-2009.

According to Annual Church Profile information, First Baptist Farmersville reported 14 baptisms in 2022 and averaged 320 in weekly worship. The church collected $1,014,990 total undesignated receipts, with $108,276 (10.67 percent) given through the Cooperative Program. The church also gave $64,713 to the 2021 Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and a total of $191,952 to Great Commission causes.

Barber is a graduate of Baylor University and has both an M.Div. and Ph.D. from Southwestern. He and his wife, Tracy, have two teenage children.

Barber is the only announced candidate at this time. If elected, he would be ineligible to hold the office again from 2024-25 due to term limits outlined in Article V.2 of the SBC Constitution.

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