Pastor Jack Graham endorses David Allen for SBC president

Prestonwood Baptist Church Pastor Jack Graham endorses seminary professor and former pastor David Allen for president of the Southern Baptist Convention at a church service in Plano, Texas, on April 21, 2024.
Prestonwood Baptist Church Pastor Jack Graham endorses seminary professor and former pastor David Allen for president of the Southern Baptist Convention at a church service in Plano, Texas, on April 21, 2024. | Screengrab: jackngraham/X

Texas megachurch Pastor Jack Graham endorsed former pastor and seminary professor David Allen for president of the Southern Baptist Convention.

The largest Protestant denomination in the United States, the SBC, will hold its Annual Meeting in June in Indianapolis, Indiana, with the agenda including the election of a new president.

SBC President Bart Barber, who was elected in 2022 and reelected last year, will not seek reelection, as the convention only permits individuals to serve up to two consecutive terms.

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On Sunday at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, where Graham serves as senior pastor, he expressed his support for Allen’s nomination as SBC president and interviewed him.

Graham told those gathered that Allen was the first full-time staff member at Prestonwood Baptist back in the 1970s as a student pastor, even before the congregation had a full-time lead pastor.

“I was very glad to introduce Dr. David Allen today to share his vision for the Southern Baptist Convention and endorse his candidacy as president,” Graham posted on X Sunday evening, along with a video of his interview with Allen.

“I believe his character, experience, and leadership is what we need going forward. Preacher. Pastor. Professor. He is not a part of any organization and is owned by [no one]. I love David Allen and am praying for him as he says yes to the will of God.”

During the Sunday interview, Allen said he believed the SBC was “struggling right now,” “we’re losing ground,” and “we need something more than we have” to change course.

“I owe so much to the Southern Baptist Convention, and I do want to be part of the solution,” said Allen. “I pray for true trust and transformation in our Southern Baptist Convention.”

Allen also stressed the need for more “transparency” in the denomination and vowed to be a “servant leader” if elected, adding that “God still has His hand on His churches.”

“We have much to do, much work to be done, and I want to be part of that mission because we are all about winning people to Christ, missions, evangelism, and preaching,” he said.

Allen responded to Graham’s post, thanking the pastor for letting him speak at Prestonwood and saying that he and his wife “were blessed by being at Prestonwood today.”  

Allen graduated from The Criswell College of Dallas, Texas, and then earned his doctorate from the University of Texas at Arlington, with a major in linguistics and expository preaching. 

He served on the faculty at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, having been on its board for 12 years and was dean of the School of Theology from 2004-2016.

Allen also became the first dean of the SWBTS’ School of Preaching in 2016, serving until 2022, when he became the leader of the Adrian Rogers Center for Biblical Preaching at Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Memphis, Tennessee. 

In February, Texas Pastor David Forshee announced his plan to nominate Allen, saying in a statement to Baptist Press that he felt Allen “will lead our convention to be unified and laser focused on reaching the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Along with Allen, other individuals expected to be nominated for SBC president include: Clint Pressley, the lead pastor of Hickory Grove Baptist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina; Mike Keahbone, the senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Lawton, Oklahoma; and Jared Moore, pastor of Cumberland Homesteads Baptist Church in Crossville, Tennessee.

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