Traylor is 3rd SBC president nominee

PENSACOLA, Fla. (BP)--Ted Traylor, pastor of Olive Baptist Church in Pensacola, Fla., will be nominated for president of the Southern Baptist Convention at the June 15-16 annual meeting in Orlando, fellow pastor Ed Litton told the Florida Baptist Witness April 22.

"In this historic moment in Southern Baptist life, God has moved upon my heart to nominate" Traylor, said Litton, pastor of First Baptist Church of North Mobile in Saraland, Ala.

Traylor told the Witness he agreed to be nominated "in response to the Lord's prompting and the encouragement of friends across the SBC."

Anticipating the future, Traylor said his goal is "to serve and lead the convention I love into a revival of the Great Commission in the days ahead."

A member of the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force, Traylor said his involvement with the work has been "life changing."

"The challenges that have surfaced demand spiritual revival and honest evaluation," Traylor said. "Together our Baptist people can touch the world with the Gospel."

Litton said Traylor's life "has exemplified a steadfast, faithful man of God. Ted is a wise and joyful leader with an undying optimism for the work of God in and through Southern Baptists. He embraces diversity of method without compromising theological truth."

He praised Traylor's leadership of Olive Baptist, making the congregation a "soul-winning, disciple-making church" which consistently has given 10 percent through the Cooperative Program, Southern Baptists' unified missions effort, in addition to participating in "hands on" missions around the globe.

In November, Traylor will celebrate 20 years as pastor of Olive Baptist.

"Ted demonstrates that pure religion feeds, loves and cares for the hurting in his own local mission field," Litton said. "Through various innovative ministries, Olive Baptist wraps the arms of Jesus around the drug addicted, the hungry and the homeless of Pensacola."

The Southern Baptist Convention needs Traylor's "wisdom, courage and undying optimism as we press forward to our greatest days of Kingdom work together," Litton said.

Traylor is the third nominee to enter the SBC presidential race, joining Georgia pastor Bryant Wright, who will be nominated by First Baptist Orlando pastor David Uth, and Alabama pastor Jimmy Jackson.

Information from the SBC's 2009 Annual Church Profile for Olive Baptist Church lists 270 baptisms and primary worship service attendance of 3,105. The church gave $731,080, or 10.1 percent, through the Cooperative Program from total undesignated receipts of $7,213,206. According to the ACP, the church also received $33,264 for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions and $10,466 for the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American Missions. In 1989, the year before Traylor became pastor, the church had undesignated receipts of $1,923,165 and contributed $417,320, or 21.7 percent, through the Cooperative Program.

Traylor is a trustee of the North American Mission Board and is chairman of NAMB's presidential search team. Among other denominational leadership positions, he has been president of the Florida Baptist State Convention (1995-96), SBC first vice president (2000) and president of the Southern Baptist Pastors' Conference (2004).

A native of Pisgah, Ala., Traylor pastored two churches in his home state and three in Texas before joining Olive in 1990.

Traylor holds degrees from Samford University in Birmingham, Ala., and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, where he earned both the master of divinity and doctor of ministry degrees.

Taylor and his wife Elizabeth are parents to two adult children.

The author of three books, Traylor's weekly radio and television ministry, "At the Heart of Things," reaches across the Gulf Coast region.


James A. Smith Sr. is executive editor of the Florida Baptist Witness (www.gofbw.com). Note: Information regarding Olive Baptist’s Cooperative Program giving in 1989 added by Baptist Press.

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