Davidson to be nominee for convention first vice president

ARNOLD, Mo. (BP)--Gerald Davidson, pastor of the St. Louis-area First Baptist Church in Arnold for 27 years and a past president of the Missouri Baptist Convention, will be nominated for first vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention at the June 15-16 annual meeting in Indianapolis.

"The former presidents [of the SBC] have decided that Gerald Davidson should be first vice president, and Dr. Adrian Rogers has been asked to nominate him," said Bailey Smith, president of the SBC in 1981 and 1982.

Smith made the announcement Feb. 19 at a Real Evangelism Conference hosted by Davidson and First Baptist Arnold. Davidson said it came as a bit of a surprise even though he knew he had been under consideration for the post in past years.

"All I can say is this: If that's what the Lord would have for me, I'd be more than honored to be able to serve in that capacity," said Davidson, 68.

Smith said he thinks Davidson will be unopposed, adding that the time has come to recognize the pastor's efforts over the years.

"He's taken a strong stand in Missouri," Smith said. "He has not compromised. He has built a great work. He has certainly never wavered from what the conservative movement is about. We have some secret soldiers out there, but Gerald Davidson has been vocal in his opposition to liberalism and support for conservatism.

"We don't want to just honor him, we really want a man that if indeed the president gets sick would take over with skill and integrity. I think that's Gerald Davidson."

During his tenure at First Arnold, Davidson has seen membership at the church, located on the southern edge of St. Louis, grow from about 400 to more than 4,600.


(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: GERALD DAVIDSON.

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