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Stone, Litton and Adams join Mohler as SBC presidential nominees

January 22nd, 2021 / By: Scott Barkley | Baptist Press / comments

Stone, Litton and Adams join Mohler as SBC presidential nominees

BLACKSHEAR, Ga., SARALAND, Ala., VANCOUVER, Wa. Two pastors and a convention executive director joined a seminary president as candidates for the presidency of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Mike Stone, pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Blackshear, Ga., and immediate past chairman of the SBC Executive Committee, will be nominated for SBC president at the 2021 SBC Annual Meeting, stated a Jan. 13 announcement by fellow Georgia pastor Kevin Williams.

“Southern Baptists need to be led by a trusted local church pastor with strong convictions about the sufficiency of Scripture, a passion for evangelism, and deep experience in the work of our convention,” said Williams, the current Georgia Baptist Convention president and pastor of First Baptist Church of Villa Rica, Ga. 

The announcement did not disclose who would nominate Stone at the annual meeting, which is scheduled for June 15-16 in
Nashville.

Stone, a member of the steering council of the recently formed Conservative Baptist Network, served for five years on Emmanuel’s staff before becoming pastor in 2002. Since then, Emmanuel has averaged 9 percent given annually through the Cooperative Program and contributed approximately $2.5 million through December 2020. 

Stone was the second announced nominee for SBC president, joining Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr. Stone told Baptist Press he spoke with Mohler. 

Mohler was originally announced as a nominee in October 2019 for the 2020 annual meeting. After that gathering was canceled due to COVID, Mohler agreed in October to accept the nomination for president in 2021. He will be nominated by H.B. Charles, senior pastor of Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Fla.

A third presidential candidate emerged on Jan. 19 when former SBC president Fred Luter announced his intention to nominate longtime friend and Mobile, Ala.-area pastor Ed Litton for SBC president at the upcoming annual meeting in June.

“I have known Ed Litton for over 20 years. Our relationship started when we preached for each other as part of the SBC Racial Reconciliation Sunday during the month of February,” Luter told Baptist Press. 

Since 1994 Litton has been pastor of Redemption Church in Saraland, Ala.—known as North Mobile Baptist Church until 2014. A Southwestern Seminary graduate, Litton served in the college and career ministry at First Baptist Euless, and in the Arizona Southern Baptist Convention Evangelism department. In 1987 he planted Mountain View Baptist Church in Tucson, Ariz.

Litton has also served in numerous roles in SBC denominational leadership.

For the last six years—following the riots in Ferguson, Mo.—Litton has been involved in The Pledge Group of Mobile, a diverse group of area pastors seeking to further racial reconciliation. 

During Litton’s pastorate, Redemption Church has averaged nearly 152 baptisms annually with resident membership growing by 27.3 percent over the last 10 years. From 2018-2020 the church averaged 3.66 percent of undesignated gifts given through the Cooperative Program. From September 2019 through August 2020, it also contributed 12.33 percent of its undesignated budget through Great Commission Giving.

Citing a desire for Southern Baptists’ focus to “be on the mission, with the Bible as our sole and final authority on all matters,” Northwest Baptist Convention Executive Director/Treasurer Randy Adams announced his candidacy on Jan. 20.

Adams, who has served in his current role since 2013, intended to be nominated for SBC president at the 2020 annual meeting. In January’s announcement, he stated that his reasons for accepting that nomination have only intensified over the past year.

In a post on his personal blog, Adams pledged to push for “transparency and accountability” among the SBC’s national entities.

Adams, along with several other non-South state executives, has been involved in a prolonged dispute with the North American Mission Board over its allocation of funds to states related to church planting and evangelism.

Russell Fuller, a former professor of Old Testament at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, will nominate Adams.