Oklahoma pastor Mike Keahbone to be nominated for SBC president

Southern Baptist Pastor Mike Keahbone speaks during a chapel service at Oklahoma Baptist University in 2019.
Southern Baptist Pastor Mike Keahbone speaks during a chapel service at Oklahoma Baptist University in 2019. | YouTube/Oklahoma Baptist University

Oklahoma Pastor Mike Keahbone has become the second person announced as a nominee for president of the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant denomination in the United States. 

Keahbone, the senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Lawton, will be nominated for SBC president at the SBC Annual Meeting, which will take place June 11-12 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

California Pastor Victor Chayasirisobhon announced his intention to nominate Keahbone on Tuesday, touting the Oklahoma clergyman's love for God and the SBC.

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"Mike Keahbone is the real deal, a leader who loves the Lord, loves the SBC, and strives every day to make it better," stated Chayasirisobhon, as quoted by The Baptist Messenger. "He is a son of the SBC, and I am convinced he is more than ready to step up and step into the role of president."

Chayasirisobhon noted that while there were "many great pastors who may be nominated for president of the SBC," he believes Keahbone is the man for the job. 

"I believe the unique challenges we face at this moment require a candidate with the vision, boldness and clarity to lead and speak to the pressing issues at hand," he added.

"His extensive experience in Convention life and inexhaustible commitment to make our SBC a better, stronger and healthier family of churches uniquely qualify Mike Keahbone to serve as our next president."

Keahbone's wife, Jennifer, wrote on Facebook Tuesday that she and her husband prayed about whether he should accept the nomination.

"God spoke to my heart through my quiet time a short time after and confirmed the decision to say, 'yes,'" she wrote. "I'm excited to see all God does through this step of obedience and I'm asking my friends and family to partner with us in prayer over these next several months."

In addition to serving as pastor of FBC Lawton, Keahbone is also a member of the SBC Executive Committee, vice chairman of the SBC's Abuse Reform Implementation Task Force and member of the SBC Sexual Abuse Task Force, reports SBC's official news service Baptist Press.

Additionally, Keahbone served on the Oklahoma Baptist Board of Directors from 2015-2021, serving as vice president of the board from 2017-2021.

A Native American with Comanche, Cherokee and Kiowa heritage, Keahbone helped author an SBC resolution titled "On Religious Liberty, Forced Conversion, and the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative Investigative Report," which was adopted by SBC messengers in 2022.

Clint Pressley, the lead pastor of Hickory Grove Baptist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, was the first person nominated for SBC president in 2024. 

Pastor Chris Justice of Lee Park Baptist Church in Monroe, North Carolina, announced on Jan. 21 that he would nominate Pressley, according to The Biblical Recorder.

"Clint Pressley loves the Southern Baptist Convention and the mission that holds us together," Justice stated. "I know him to be a man of conviction who is joyfully orthodox, devoted to the Great Commission, and committed to our cooperation as Southern Baptists." 

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