Former Southern Baptist Convention President Fred Luter announced today (Jan. 19) his intention to nominate longtime friend and Mobile, Ala.-area pastor Ed Litton for SBC president at the upcoming annual meeting in June.
“I have known Ed Litton for over 20 years. Our relationship started when we preached for each other as part of the SBC Racial Reconciliation Sunday during the month of February,” Luter told Baptist Press. “From there our relationship developed to more than just colleagues to bring races together. We both shared the hope of drawing people closer to a relationship with Jesus Christ and then growing disciples for Christ. In both of our churches our focus has been the same all of these years.
“That’s why I am honored to nominate Ed Litton as the next president of the Southern Baptist Convention. With Ed’s commitment to the Great Commandment and the Great Commission, he is what our convention needs to help us refocus and recommit to the biblical principles of what this convention has been known for – evangelism and discipleship.”
Since 1994 Litton has been pastor of Redemption Church in Saraland, Ala. – known as North Mobile Baptist Church until 2014. A Southwestern Seminary graduate, Litton served at First Baptist of Euless, Texas, in the college and career ministry and in the Arizona Southern Baptist Convention Evangelism department. In 1987 he planted Mountain View Baptist Church in Tucson, Ariz.
Litton’s wife Kathy – they married in 2009 after both lost their first spouses – was elected registration secretary at the 2019 SBC Annual Meeting. Citing a desire to “help maintain the highest standards of integrity in our voting processes,” Kathy Litton sent a letter of resignation from that position earlier today to SBC Executive Committee President and CEO Ronnie Floyd and SBC President J.D. Greear.
Ed Litton has also served in numerous roles in SBC denominational leadership, including the Resolutions Committee, Committee on Committees, as president of the SBC Pastors’ Conference and on the boards of various seminaries.
Litton is the third nominee made public for SBC president, joining Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr., and Georgia pastor Mike Stone.
In 2001, Luter gave the nomination speech that led to Litton’s becoming SBC first vice president. Twenty years later, he feels Litton is the right leader at the right time for a new role.
“Ed has a deep love for God and for people,” Luter said. “I truly believe he can help ease divisions that are happening among us and point us toward our mission.”
For the last six years – following the riots in Ferguson, Mo. – Litton has been involved in The Pledge Group of Mobile, a diverse group of area pastors seeking to further racial reconciliation. In late October he helped write the “Deep South Joint Statement on the Gospel, Racial Reconciliation, and Justice.”
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SOURCE: Baptist Press, Scott Barkley