Southern Baptists from around the country are planning to gather in Nashville this summer where they will set the course for the denomination for the coming year – and elect a new president. One News Now is connecting with each of the candidates seeking that position to ask about their agendas, should they be elected.
Georgia pastor Mike Stone, one of the four announced candidates, says a local pastor should lead the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC).
“We have become a top-down, bureaucratic type of organization, with high-profile pastors and national employees really dictating the direction of the SBC,” he begins.
Stone currently serves as senior pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Blackshear. He and his wife, Andrea, parent four children between the ages of 8 and 18. She homeschools and hunts. He started as a music minister at Emmanuel before becoming its pastor and has now served the church for 25 years.
The Georgia native admits he was troubled in 2019 when the SBC passed Resolution 9, endorsing Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality as tools to understand the culture and reach the lost.
“We’re seeing some troubling trends in some of our entities – and with some of our national leaders – that believe we need to look outside the Bible to find tools and resources and philosophies and theories to help address spiritual problems,” Stone shares.
He also contends there has been a leftward drift in the denomination, led by the SBC’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and its president, Dr. Russell Moore.
“We’ve seen an increasing number of churches that are withholding funds [or] escrowing missions’ dollars from Southern Baptist causes,” he cites. “A large number of churches are actually withdrawing their affiliation.”
He tells One News Now that he would like to see the denomination get back to the basics.
“I believe we need to refocus our efforts on evangelism, to come together as individual congregations, [as] regional connections of churches, state conventions and the national convention to support a nationwide spirit of revival and evangelism,” he concludes.
The denomination’s annual meeting is set for June 15-16 in Nashville.
This article was originally published at One News Now.