My Nomination for SBC Pastors’ Conference President

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  • This past week, I prayerfully agreed to be nominated for president of the Southern Baptist Convention Pastors’ Conference, which will take place in Dallas in 2018.

    The Pastors’ Conference is held every year in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention. It has been my joy to preach the pastors’ conference on several occasions. It would be a privilege to lead it in 2018.

    I am grateful and honored that Ken Whitten of the Idlewild Baptist Church in Tampa Bay has agreed to nominate me at the upcoming SBC meeting in Phoenix.

    I am also grateful for Brad Graves of the First Baptist Church in Ada (OK). Graves announced his nomination a month ago. Upon hearing of my nomination, however, he graciously and humbly withdrew his nomination to clear the way for my nomination. It was a sacrificial act of Christian unity, for which I thank my brother in Christ and give glory to God.

    If elected, I will give my best effort to plan a conference that will encourage pastors, model biblical preaching, and promote the Great Commission. In advance, I solicit your prayers for my family, the Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church, and all who will partner with us to prepare a conference that will edify attendees and glorify the Lord Jesus Christ.

    As I contemplate this opportunity, I cast my eyes toward the work for this year’s conference. Before coming to Jacksonville eight years ago, it was my joy to serve a smaller congregation in Los Angeles for almost eighteen years. I pray this year’s conference will be uplifting for one and all. And I pray the Lord will grant me wisdom to consider the spirit of this year’s conference, as he leads me regarding next year’s theme, program, and speakers.

    The Shiloh Church has been a member of the Southern Baptist Convention for five years. I led our congregation to join the SBC for strategic partnership in Christian education, church planting, and world missions. And I give thanks for the partnership in the gospel we have developed.

    From my limited perch, I have also seen great steps of faith taken toward racial reconciliation. I view my nomination for pastors’ conference president as another such step. My possible election would mark the first time an African-American pastor has led the pastors’ conference. But I pray my potential election will be more than symbolic. I yearn for the Lord to use this process to lead us forward together as brothers and sisters in Christ. May the watching world know that we are true disciples by our love for one another.

    Thank you for your notes of encouragement and expressions of support as I pursue this massive undertaking for the honor of Christ.

    Pray for us.


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    H.B. Charles Jr.

    Pastor-Teacher at the Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church of Jacksonville and Orange Park, Florida.