Texas Pastor Jack Graham, a former president of the Southern Baptist Convention, has endorsed Florida Pastor Tom Ascol for the SBC presidency ahead of the Annual Meeting this week in Anaheim, California.
As someone who grew up in the SBC, Graham says he has been “prayerfully looking forward to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Anaheim and who will lead us forward as our next president.”
Leadership is critical for the Southern Baptist Convention 2022. Here is my recommendation for President as we prayerfully seek a way forward. pic.twitter.com/2uoEv2FPTa— Jack Graham (@jackngraham) June 12, 2022
Graham, who served as SBC president from 2002 to 2004, stressed the need for strong local churches with strong pastors in their pulpits within the SBC.
“What holds us together beyond missions is our message, and it’s the message of the gospel,” he asserted.
In the video, Graham announced that he is “very excited about the candidacy of Tom Ascol.”
Ascol, the senior pastor of Grace Baptist Church and the president of the conservative Baptist group Founders Ministries, is one of three SBC presidential candidates.
In a panel discussion last month, he and the other two candidates, Bart Barber of First Baptist Church of Farmersville, Texas, and former International Mission Board missionary and current senior professor of missions at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary Robin Hadaway, each shared how they would lead the SBC if elected president.
While acknowledging the theological differences between himself and Ascol, Graham asserted that the Florida pastor is a “man of God.”
“Now Tom and I are not exactly alike on the issues of Calvinism and the sovereignty of God,” he noted. “In fact, we’ve had our rows in the past over that, but I’ve come to respect this man as a man of God and a man of grace, and I know he’s a man of the word, and I believe he has leadership skills that can take us forward into the future for Southern Baptists in a time like this.”
“In a time when we need someone who is strong and vibrant and vocal, someone who will stand up before the world and clearly define and declare the truth of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ, in a time in which we so desperately need strength in our pulpits and strength in our pews, I believe that Tom Ascol can influence us,” Graham declared.
“The role of the Southern Baptist Convention president is not just to make appointments but to influence from the pulpit the people in the pews all across the Southern Baptist Convention and to represent us well in the culture,” he further explained in the video.
“I believe Tom Ascol is that kind of man who can lead us and direct us forward so that we can once again, for the glory of God, experience renewal and revival and power for the glory of God.”
Ascol, who would be the second Calvinist to lead the SBC if elected, has expressed concern that the denomination has been negatively influenced by liberalism and wokeness and vows to “change the direction” of the mainline denomination. Running by his side is preacher and author Dr. Voddie Baucham, a candidate for the president of the SBC’s Pastor’s Conference.
“Thank you, Pastor, for your kind & encouraging words. May the Lord do what is good in His sight & may we seek His honor in obedience to His Word, regardless of cost is consequence,” Ascol wrote in response to Graham’s endorsement video.
Thank you, Pastor, for your kind & encouraging words. May the Lord do what is good in His sight & may we seek His honor in obedience to His Word, regardless of cost is consequence. https://t.co/XHoZtk62cp— Tom Ascol @tomascol (@tomascol) June 13, 2022
The SBC Annual Meeting is scheduled to take place on June 14-15.
Photo courtesy: ©Ben White/Unsplash
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.