Southern Baptist Convention President Johnny Hunt revealed Monday that he has prostate cancer and expects to have surgery in January.
In a statement released through Baptist Press, the news wire service affiliated with the SBC, Hunt informed Southern Baptists that he had received word this past Thursday of the diagnosis and that he was "very encouraged" that doctors had discovered the cancer at an early stage.
"Janet and I are now praying for wisdom from Heaven to know exactly what procedure to choose to deal with this cancer, probably around the second week in January," the 57-year-old pastor stated.
"We would appreciate your prayers on this journey," he added.
Hunt has served as president of the 16.2 million-member SBC since his election in June 2008 and was re-elected this past summer during the denomination's annual meeting in Louisville, Ky.
Hunt also pastors First Baptist Church of Woodstock, a 172-year-old church in the Atlanta area that has over 14,000 members.
Hunt has served as First Baptist's minister since 1986.