The Commerce Journal

July 16, 2013

Local pastor re-elected during baptist convention

Leah Allen
Baptist General Convention of Texas

SAN ANTONIO — Messengers to the Baptist General Convention of Texas re-elected Jeff Johnson, pastor of First Baptist Church in Commerce, as president July 15.

As the convention president, Johnson said he will strive to be an open listener, positive representative and faithful servant of Texas Baptists.

“I want to represent Texas Baptists well, and I want to serve Texas Baptists with all my heart, soul, mind and strength as to the Lord,” he said. “I care about our state, and I care about churches in our state.”

In his second term, Johnson plans to continue implementing an initiative already in place where he has sought to “help lead the discussion about the diversity, mission and unity of our convention” and provide closer collaboration with affinity groups.

He also plans to work alongside Clay Price, information analyst for Texas Baptists, to bring awareness to the state’s statistics regarding salvation.

“There are sobering numbers about how our state is very, very lost,” Johnson said. “We are not keeping up with demographic and population changes.”

Addressing that issue is the first step to equip people and churches to do missions and evangelism together, he said. Without strong evangelism efforts, the church will continue to fall behind.

Johnson also wants to provide encouragement and support for Texas Baptists’ Executive Director David Hardage as he seeks to “fill the void” left by the departure of Suzii Paynter, former director of the Christian Life Commission and the BGCT’s Advocacy/Care Center.

Originally from Mississippi, Johnson received his undergraduate in Business Administration at Texas A&M University in College Station. He went on to receive advanced degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

He has been in ministry work for more than 30 years, serving in positions of pastor, Baptist Student Ministries director, youth minister and various roles for the convention including BGCT Executive Board, BGCT Committee on Committees and Texas Baptist Border Violence Committee.

Because the Texas Baptists annual meeting is in the summer this year, Johnson’s second term will last 15 and a half months, to the fall of 2014. He is excited to serve another term and implement new initiatives.

“I want to help make our convention the best it can be,” he said. “I want to help pull everybody together to reach our state for Christ.”