ORLANDO, Fla.—In a surprise move, Southern Baptists said no to two well-known presidential candidates and elected a church planter from Marietta, Ga., to lead them in the coming year.
Bryant Wright, senior pastor of Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Marietta, Ga., beat Ted Traylor, pastor of Olive Baptist Church in Pensacola, Fla., in a run-off ballot 4,225 to 3,371.
Bryant’s votes represented 55.11 percent of the 7,667 votes casts, while Traylor’s represented 43.97 percent. Seventy-one votes, or .93 percent, were disallowed.
Traylor and Jimmy Jackson, senior pastor, Whitesburg Baptist Church, Huntsville, Ala., entered the race as the frontrunners, particularly in what many labeled a pro/con Great Commission Resurgence report presidential race. Traylor served on the task force. Jackson was outspoken against the task force’s report that was approved by convention messengers just minutes before the presidential election results were announced.
Wright and Traylor garnered a combined 66.02 percent of the original vote against Jackson and Leo Endel, executive director, Minnesota-Wisconsin Baptist Convention.
In the original vote, Wright received 3,433 votes, or 36.84 percent of the vote, while Traylor received 2,719 votes, or 29.18 percent of the vote. Jackson received 2,482 votes, or 26.64 percent of the vote, and Endel received 589 votes, or 6.23 percent of the vote.
Of the registered 10,873 messengers at the time of the vote, 9,318 messengers cast ballots. Of those, 95 ballots, or 1.2 percent, were disallowed.
In the first vice president’s race, Ron Herrod, president of the Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists, was elected 1,653 to 1,117 over Jim Drake, pastor of Brush Fork Baptist Church in Blue Field, W. Va.