Dr. James Merritt, former President of the Southern Baptist Convention, has announced to Baptist Press that he will nominate Walter Strickland for the office of 1st Vice President of the SBC at the 2017 annual meeting. This is exciting news as we plan to gather in Phoenix, AZ in just over a month.
Strickland is a graduate (M.Div and Th.M.) of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Aberdeen. Strickland also serves as the Special Advisor to the President for Diversity & Instructor of Theology at SEBTS. His responsibilities in that role include overseeing Southeastern’s Kingdom Diversity Initiative.
Strickland was quoted in an April story in Baptist Press regarding Southeastern’s new missions scholarship program which “offers minority students financial assistance for Southeastern mission trips along with help in preparing to go, such as raising funds and obtaining a passport.” He said, “We recognize that every tribe, tongue and nation are not just the recipients of God’s mission, but they ought to be mobilized on mission as well.”
Below are some quotes from the Baptist Press article announcing the nomination.
“As our nation and our convention become more diverse, it is imperative that our leadership reflect the diversity that marks the Kingdom of God and Heaven itself,” Merritt, pastor of Cross Pointe Church in Duluth, Ga., said according to a news release. “Beyond that we need people in leadership that reflect the best of Southern Baptists theologically, spiritually and personally.
“Walter Strickland meets both of these needs perfectly and I am excited about nominating him for the position of first vice president at our upcoming annual meeting in Phoenix.”
Regarding GC Giving:
Strickland is a member of Imago Dei Church in Raleigh, N.C., which told Baptist Press it gave $88,234 in Great Commission Giving for 2016. That total amounts to 9.8 percent of Imago Dei’s undesignated receipts, according to the church.
More from Merritt:
Merritt said Strickland “desires to see unity in Christ proliferate throughout the SBC and be a driving focus of our cooperative work together. He sincerely believes that we are better together and wants to see younger generations honor older generations of Southern Baptists who have given us so much. He believes that biblical diversity comes as we all celebrate our unity together in Christ by loving, honoring, blessing and encouraging one another in our unique roles and contributions.”
To this point, Strickland is the only announced nominee for the office.