Updated November 12, 2014
Bowling Green-Tom James, pastor of Eastwood Baptist Church in Bowling Green, was elected as president of the Kentucky Baptist Convention by acclamation at the KBC annual meeting Nov. 11.
Jerry Tooley, director of missions for Daviess-McLean Baptist Association, and Mark Payton, pastor of Dry Ridge Baptist Church, were elected as first and second vice presidents, respectively.
In nominating James, Tim Colovos, pastor of Oakland Baptist Church, described him as a “proven leader” who Kentucky Baptists can depend on to move them forward.
For the past decade, James has led Eastwood Baptist Church, which was recognized for being third in the state in total amount contributed through the Cooperative Program this past year. The 1,430-member church gave more than $248,000 to the Cooperative Program-nearly 12.5 percent of its undesignated receipts. Colovos also noted that Eastwood has seven on-going mission partnerships on five continents.
James was first vice president of the convention in 2012 and president of the Kentucky Baptist Pastors’ Conference in 2009.
In addition to his state Baptist roles, James was selected to serve on the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee from 1999-2004.
Tooley defeated Erdie Carter, pastor of Glasgow Baptist Church, in a ballot vote, receiving 225 of 409 votes cast.
Tooley was nominated by Kenny Rager, pastor of Life Community Church in Owensboro; Carter was nominated by Bill Langley, pastor of Severns Valley Baptist Church in Elizabethtown.
A graduate of Southern Seminary, Tooley was named DOM of the Year for Kentucky in 2010. He also has served on the Mission Board and on the KBC administrative and business & finance committees, and he was a member of the executive director search team that brought Paul Chitwood to the position, Rager noted.
A member of First Baptist Church of Owensboro, he has served Daviess-McLean Baptists for 15 years. Previously he served as pastor of four Kentucky churches.
Rager described Tooley as a leader with a “backbone,” who has the conviction to stand up for hurting pastors and help struggling churches. Tooley also encourages the churches of his association to increase Cooperative Program giving, he said.
Payton, who was nominated by Greg Nimmo, director of missions for Crittenden Baptist Association, was elected as second vice president by acclamation.
He previously was pastor of Shively Heights Baptist Church in Louisville from 2001-2009, during its merger with St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church, a predominantly African-American congregation. The blended church drew national attention as Payton and Lincoln Bingham served as its co-pastors.
Payton has served on the KBC Mission Board and as president of the state pastors’ conference.
He also has been a trustee of Southwestern Seminary and a member of the SBC Committee on Nominations.
Wilma Simmons was re-elected to her 24th consecutive term as secretary, and Pat Reaves was re-elected as assistant secretary. (WR)