Peoples looks forward to building on momentum

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December 15, 2015

Exciting things are on the horizon for Florida Baptists in 2016 “as we encourage and support one another in reaching Florida and our world for Christ,” said James Peoples, president of the Florida Baptist State Convention. “Looking ahead, I am excited to build upon the momentum gained in 2015.”

Peoples, pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Keystone Heights, was elected without opposition to a second-year term as president during the State Convention’s annual meeting Nov. 9-10 at First Baptist Church in Panama City.

“I’m so honored to have the opportunity to serve once again,” he said. “As I look back and look ahead I recall how our annual meeting in Panama City was filled with excitement and unity as we took bold steps to restructure and reallocate resources to advance the mission to reach our state and world for Christ.”

Peoples referenced the Florida Baptist State Convention’s decision to overhaul the state convention’s Cooperative Program budget to send more money to reach the nations through the Southern Baptist Convention.

“To take the resources entrusted to us by the local churches in our Convention and to move our formula to invest 51 percent beyond our state while retaining 49 percent for ministry within our state is a truly historic moment.”

The pastor was nominated as president by Ted Traylor, pastor of Olive Baptist Church in Pensacola, who called Peoples “one of the most cooperative, unifying leaders I have ever met.”

In 2015 during Peoples’ first term, Florida Baptists elected Tommy Green of Brandon as the new executive director of the Florida Baptist Convention after the retirement of John Sullivan from that position. Green brought with him sweeping changes in the mission and structure of the convention organization.

In his nomination of Peoples, Traylor suggested that the Keystone Heights pastor would be a unifying leader to serve Florida Baptists in the transition period, “to take the administration of Dr. John Sullivan in one hand and the administration of Dr. Tommy Green in the other hand.”

Peoples was involved in the search for the new executive director. “I was blessed to be a part of that process. I believe these last months have reconfirmed that Dr. Green truly is the man God has raised up for this hour.”

“After Dr. Green’s election, I spent time crossing the state with him attending meetings where he cast the vision, answered questions and heard the concerns of our churches. The fruit of all of that effort paid off with an uplifting and unified convention ready to launch into the new year.”

Also elected to serve Florida Baptists in 2016 was Calvin Carr, pastor of North Central Baptist Church in Gainesville, who was elected without opposition to a second-year term as first vice president. Boyd Bunting, a layperson from First Baptist Church in Panama City, was elected as second vice president; and Randy Huckabee, pastor of First Baptist Church in Dade City was elected recording secretary.

by Barbara Denman, Florida Baptist Convention

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