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NEWS: SBC elects CBMW member Clint Pressley as president

June 17, 2024

Clint Pressley, a member of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, was elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention last week in Indianapolis. Pressley’s election, a result settled on the third ballot, occurred during the convention’s annual meeting.

This year’s annual meeting was host to much debate on issues concerning complementarianism and egalitarianism, and Pressley’s election signals that the convention of churches remains committed to God’s design for sex and gender as articulated in Scripture and summarized in the Baptist Faith and Message, the convention’s statement of faith.

“Clint Pressley has been a good friend for about sixteen years. I have known him to be a faithful pastor and a man of deep biblical conviction,” said Denny Burk, president of CBMW. “He is committed to the Bible’s authority, including its message about manhood and womanhood. He will bring that conviction to his new position as SBC president. His leadership and experience are just what the SBC needs at this time.”

One point of contention during the SBC meeting was over an amendment — known as the Law Amendment — to the SBC’s constitution that would have clarified the boundaries of cooperation. The Law Amendment aimed to make explicit that only churches that affirm, appoint, or employ qualified men could be considered in friendly cooperation with the convention. Pressley was an early and vocal supporter of the amendment, and an original signer on a letter submitted to the Executive Committee calling for its adoption.

A majority of the messengers voted in favor of the amendment, but not the required supermajority for ratification. The failure of the amendment does not represent a convention-wide departure from complementarianism, however, writes Heath Lambert.

“The bulk of messengers are in favor of the amendment,” writes Lambert, pastor of First Baptist Church of Jacksonville. “The results of the SBC presidential election confirm that Southern Baptists are in favor of a male-only pastorate. Our convention ultimately chose Pressley—an outspoken proponent of the amendment and member of the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood”

Pressley has been the senior pastor of Hickory Grove Baptist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina since 2010. He has held other leadership positions within the SBC, including as the convention’s first vice president in 2014–15 and as Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Southern Seminary.

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