When we gather next week in Orlando for the annual Convention of Southern Baptists, I will be enthusiastically voting to elect Dr. Ted Traylor as the new President of our great convention. I believe he is the best servant to lead our denomination during this critical time. I have had the great honor of knowing this man for most of my life. I have found him to be a man of tremendous courage, conviction, and consistency.
In the past years Dr. Traylor has led his church into a new outreach called The Ministry Village. This endeavor has led his church to live out the commands of Scripture to reach out to the “least of these.” Many times taking women just released from prison and housing them in the village, providing them structure and protection, all the while teaching them of the hope and forgiveness found in Jesus Christ. As an under-30 pastor, I love to see churches get involved in ministries that may have traditionally been viewed as risky, uncomfortable, or even undesired. It takes great courage to lead a church to take such risks for the sake of the gospel and Dr. Traylor has demonstrated that courage.
Conviction is often what separates the men from the boys in ministry. Without it, we will lead meaningless ministries and incompetent churches. I have seen firsthand Dr. Traylor’s unshakeable commitment to the inerrancy and sufficiency of Scripture. I have seen his conviction to promote and participate in the local association. When I served at Olive Baptist as an intern right out of college, one of my first assignments was to attend a meeting at the associational office. I assumed I was going in his stead; however, not only did he attend, he beat me to the meeting. I have also seen Dr. Traylor hold to his convictions concerning the Cooperative Program. I believe he has demonstrated a wonderful picture of how Great Commission Giving should work. Olive Baptist has continued for years now to give to the Cooperative Program 10% of undesignated giving. While doing this Olive has budgeted additional monies to other Baptist functions without altering the CP percentage. Seminary students have received scholarships, church members have been able to minister both locally and international, and I myself was able to serve on a short term trip into the 10/40 window all because of the commitment of Olive Baptist to the Great Commission.
Lastly, I have seen great consistency in Dr. Traylor. It is one thing to send a check to the Cooperative Program, or to send others off to cooperative missions; it is another to be cooperative. He walks the walk and thereby strengthens the Church wherever it may be found. While serving as intern, I was invited to accompany Dr. Traylor to a set of revival meeting he was preaching. Honestly as a naive intern I was pondering on which mega church we were going to attend. When we arrived I was stunned to see a church building that could barely seat 70. Dr. Traylor went there every night and enthusiastically preached the Word with as much passion as I’ve seen him preach anywhere else. He gave that little church everything he had. Now I find myself as a pastor of a church running 70 on Sunday morning. I love this church and I know that if Ted Traylor is elected president he will be a friend of little churches all over this denomination just like mine, who day after day are doing everything they can to be mission centers wherever God has placed them.
Rev. Daniel Findley
Pastor, First Baptist Church Brooker