Four Florida Baptist leaders will be renominated to serve as 2022-23 officers of the Florida Baptist State Convention when the annual meeting convenes in Pensacola, Nov. 14-15.
Tampa pastor Paul Purvis will be renominated as the 2022-23 president, said Alan Brumback, lead pastor of First Naples.
“It is my honor to be able to nominate Paul Purvis for a second term as president of the Florida Baptist Convention. Paul has led our state well this past year and has helped keep us focused on the mission despite what has been going on in our world and our national convention,” said Brumback.
Purvis is lead pastor of Mission Hill Church in Temple Terrace, having served there since 2011. Under his leadership, the church’s name was changed from First Baptist Church of Temple Terrace to better reach the community. The church has grown from a single location in Temple Terrace to a multi-neighborhood church with three locations.
More than 65 nations are represented in the multicultural and multiethnic church, and services are translated into multiple languages.
“He has pastored his church faithfully and continues to model multigenerational, multiethnic, multiplying ministry. He is a great friend to me and a true friend to the pastors and churches of our state convention. I believe that Paul Purvis is the man for this moment and should serve a second term as president of the Florida Baptist Convention,” Brumback said.
Purvis has been involved actively in denominational work, having previously served as a member of the Florida Baptists’ State Board of Missions, president of the Florida Baptist Pastors’ Conference, treasurer of the Southern Baptist Pastors’ Conference, and moderator for the Tampa Bay Baptist Association.
“If given the opportunity to serve Florida Baptists again,” Purvis said, “there would be several specific areas that would receive my attention.
“We must continue to follow the leadership of Tommy Green, Florida Baptists’ executive director-treasurer, in uniting our diverse group of churches around kingdom purposes. There’s much work we can do across Florida and in our partnerships outside the state when we come together.
“We must celebrate the kingdom work that is already being accomplished through our cooperating ministries. Florida Baptist Financial Services is thinking outside of the box with a kingdom mindset. One More Child has become a national model in children and family ministry. The Baptist College of Florida is beginning a new era, and these are just a few examples.
“We must come alongside existing churches and encourage them to receive the help available through the Florida Baptist Convention, North American Mission Board and local sister churches for the purpose of kingdom revitalization. We need healthy churches where we already have churches. We can do this better together.
“We must continue to encourage churches to strategically plant kingdom-minded churches throughout our rapidly growing state. With three of the fastest growing housing markets in Florida, we need more Florida Baptist churches.
“We must come alongside pastors, encouraging and equipping them to ‘keep pedaling’ as we continue to navigate difficult days.
“Florida Baptists have a unique opportunity. More than ever, we have the chance to impact the world from the Sunshine State. It’s essential that we stay focused, stay on mission and stay together, for the kingdom.”
First vice president
Woods has served as senior pastor of Family of God Baptist Church in Panama City since December 2017. Woods has led his predominantly African-American church through two devastating crises. The church experienced ruinous loss during Hurricane Michael in 2018. Just as the church was beginning to make progress in reconstructing buildings on its east and west campuses in the hurricane’s aftermath, the pandemic ravaged the congregation.
Still, the church continued to meet and minister and witness to its community.
“It is my honor to once again nominate Pastor Dwight Woods. He is a man of God who loves his congregation and community. He has led his church through some major challenges for the purpose of reaching Panama City for Christ. He is a proven leader and has served Florida Baptists well as he will continue to do if elected again,” said Orr, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Chipley.
Second vice president
Florida Baptist layperson John Bozard will be nominated by his pastor David Uth to serve as FBSC second vice president when messengers gather in Pensacola this November.
The healthcare executive and his family have been active members of First Orlando for more than three decades.
Bozard has served the church in many leadership roles, including chairman of the board of trustees, chairman of the deacons, chairman of the personnel team, and chairman of the search committee that called Uth as pastor in 2005. He also has served as a member of the church leadership council, budget team and trustees, and he has taught an adult Bible study class for several years.
Bozard has been involved in Florida and Southern Baptist denominational life. In 2009, he was elected to serve on the board of The Florida Baptist Financial Services, which includes the Florida Baptist Foundation and Church Growth Investment Fund, serving twice as board chairman.
He served two terms on the FBSC’s nominating committee, chairing the committee during one of those terms, as well as on the Southern Baptist Convention’s nominating committee.
Rounding out the slate of officers to be renominated to serve Florida Baptists in 2022-23 is Randy Huckabee, pastor of First Baptist Church in Dade City since 2013. Prior to arriving in Dade City, Huckabee served as senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Okeechobee for 13 years.
Huckabee will be nominated by Jim Locke, pastor of Hillcrest Baptist Church in Pensacola since 2005. If elected, Huckabee will begin his 15th year as recording secretary for the state convention.