No convention in my memory has experienced the delayed announcement of candidates that this year has. While speaking with a fellow pastor today, I jokingly noted that last year’s election of Wiley Drake to the office of 2nd Vice President robbed the luster of the First Vice President position. Nobody has ever paid much attention to the Veeps anyway. Until, that is, Wiley Drake was elected. Nobody knew what they do, and we still don’t know what they’re supposed to do. All we know is that they don’t get their way paid to conventions and they don’t get official letterhead.
I’ve been thinking about people that I’d like to see elected to the First Vice Presidency, and I’ve got a short list of viable candidates in my mind. I’ll list them below, with the almost certainty that my blogging their names could solidify their refusal to run.
1. Dr. Michael Dean — Dean is the pastor of Ft. Worth’s Travis Avenue Baptist Church. He’s been a trustee at Southwestern Seminary, serving two years as its chairman, and he’s a BGCT pastor who is acceptable to both conventions in Texas. He’s avoided political alliances in the SBC, and is regularly regarded as a Christian statesman, exemplary pastor, and denominational loyalist. It is most likely that a Texas pastor will get the job. In my estimation, Dean is the best candidate. I suspect, however, that SBTC folks will unite behind somebody like Michael Lewis of Great Hills Baptist in Austin or Garland pastor David Galvan or the eternal IMB trustee, Bill Sutton of McAllen.
2. Mrs. Adrian Rogers — Last year’s highlight moment could have been the challenge given by Adrian Rogers’ widow. Standing courageously before a packed coliseum, she boldly pronounced that her husband never would have supported the narrowing of the parameters of cooperation. Her statement, perhaps more than anything else, cemented the election of Frank Page. We’ve never had a woman to serve in elected convention office, and not even the fundamentalists would oppose Miss Joyce.
3. Dr. David Crosby — The pastor of New Orleans’ First Baptist Church has become a poster child for the recovery effort in the Mississippi Delta. He’s been bold in his efforts to rebuild the city, and he’s already got a spot on the convention platform. Electing David Crosby could serve to highlight Southern Baptist relief efforts.
4. Roger Moran — Southern Baptist fundamentalists have a way of rewarding their warriors. Roger Moran will have lost all platform in the convention to advance his various narrow causes by the time he rotates off the Executive Committee next month. Already, some Missouri Baptists are throwing his name around to feel out the viability of his candidacy. The move would be risky, however, because of Moran’s high profile as a fightin’ fundamentalist. Every BGCT messenger in attendance would oppose him tooth and claw.
5. Unnamed missionary candidate — I’m pulling hard for an IMB field missionary to be elected to the First Vice Presidency. The move is unprecedented, but would be quite refreshing. So many of our field personnel feel isolated and forgotten when it comes to the convention proper. Electing a field missionary would reinvigorate our focus on world evangelization, as well as bringing an “outsider” to the platform for perspective and fresh ideas.
I’ve heard a few more names, but nothing really viable. In a five-way race between the candidates listed above, I’d have to choose between Joyce Rogers and the missionary, though I’d hope for a run off between either of them and Roger Moran.