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Messengers elect youngest president in SBTC history

Lino, Wright, Sanchez voted into offices unopposed at SBTC annual meeting

November 10th, 2015 / By: Sharayah Colter | Staff Writer / comments

Messengers elect youngest president in SBTC history

HOUSTON—Messengers to the 2015 annual meeting of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention elected Nathan Lino as president, Dante Wright as vice president and Juan Sanchez Jr., as recording secretary. None of the three offices were contested, and Lino was elected in absentia.

President - Nathan Lino

Lino, 38, serves as pastor of Northeast Houston Baptist Church (NEHBC) in Humble and became the youngest SBTC president to date.

Chris Osborne, pastor of Central Baptist Church in College Station where Lino was a member while a student at Texas A&M University, nominated the Houston pastor for president Nov. 10.

“He came through my ministry and is one of the younger pastors I meet with regularly,” Osborne told the TEXAN prior to the election. “Nathan is one of the finest preachers, husbands, dads and pastors in our convention.”

Born in South Africa, Lino's family immigrated to the Houston area when he was 11. He earned a bachelor's degree from Texas A&M University before completing his Master of Divinity from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in North Carolina. Upon graduation from Southeastern, Lino returned to Texas and planted NEHBC in 2002. He is currently in the final stages of his Doctor of Ministry degree at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth.

Lino and his wife, Nicole, have been married 16 years and have four children.

Vice President - Dante Wright

Wright serves as pastor of Sweet Home Baptist Church in Round Rock where he has served since 2000. When he first accepted the position of pastor at Sweet Home, the church had 60 members. Today, 1,800 people are members of the church, according to Terry Turner, pastor of Mesquite Friendship Baptist Fellowship, who nominated Wright. Wright has served the past two years as recording secretary of the SBTC and in 2014, also assumed the responsibilities of vice president. Wright spent 10 years as a football coach before surrendering to ministry and coming to pastor Sweet Home Baptist Church, coaching at Hofstra University, University of North Texas, Northwestern State University and Arkansas State University.

In his nominatiion speech, Turner described Wright as intellectual and referred to his ministry as energetic.

Wright holds both a Master of Divinity and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Liberty Theological Seminary, a Master of Arts Degree in Christian Leadership from Criswell College, and a Bachelor of Science and Liberal Arts Degree from Southeast Missouri State University. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Biblical Studies with an emphasis in Homiletics at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary where he is currently an adjunct professor.

“The thing I love about him the most is that he is a family man,” Turner said, mentioning Wright’s wife and children.

Wright is married to Tracy, and the two have five children.

Recording Secretary  - Juan Sanchez Jr.

Bart Barber, pastor of First Baptist Church of Farmersville, nominated Juan Sanchez Jr., preaching pastor of High Pointe Baptist Church in Austin, for recording secretary. Barber said Sanchez’ church ‘looks like heaven,’ being multi-generational and multi-ethnic. Sanchez’ church also looks like the church in Antioch, Barber said, explaining that High Pointe is a mission-sending church.

Sanchez was born in Puerto Rico and moved to Florida with his family at 8 years old, according to his church’s website. He confessed Christ as savior as a teenager in 1983.  Sanchez holds a bachelor of music degree from the University of Florida as well as a M.Div., Th.M. and Ph.D. in Systematic Theology from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky.

Sanchez has served churches in Florida, Georgia, Indiana and Texas and has been married to Jeanine since 1990. Together, they have five daughters.