JONESBORO — Kevin Williams will serve a second term as president of the Georgia Baptist Convention, having drawn no opponent for the position at an annual meeting held Monday and Tuesday at First Baptist Church of Jonesboro.

Because he was the lone candidate, Williams was elected by acclamation, receiving boisterous applause from nearly 1,000 messengers.

Williams, pastor of First Baptist Church of Villa Rica, has become widely known in Georgia and beyond for his leadership in promoting missions not just amid his own congregation but across the state and beyond.

A trustee with the International Mission Board, Williams made missions involvement the centerpiece of his first year in office and he plans to continue that in his second year.

In his presidential address on Tuesday, Williams noted the hardships churches have faced over the past two years amid a global pandemic and urged them to look beyond the public relations crisis facing the Southern Baptist Convention at the national level.

“This journey was never meant to be easy, and it definitely has some potholes along the way,” he said. “We must get back to the main thing: reaching people with the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Williams was nominated by his children, Austin, Zach, Grace and Hope, all of whom gushed on him for his passion for preaching, for evangelism, and missions.

“He knows how to lead and that’s why we believe he’s perfect for the role of Georgia Baptist president,” said Austin Williams, who serves on the staff at First Baptist Villa Rica.

Messengers also elected four vice presidents:

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First Vice President Kyle Walker, senior pastor of Cartersville First Baptist Church.

After completing two degrees at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Walker remained at the seminary as director of admissions and was later promoted to dean of students, vice president for student services, adjunct professor and assistant professor of preaching. During that time, he also served as a pastoral associate at Tate Springs Baptist Church in Arlington.

The Georgia native also served as interim pastor of First Baptist Church in Mansfield, Texas.

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Second Vice President Rafael Valter, pastor of Iglesia Bautista Ágape in Stone Mountain.

Valter, a native of El Salvador, is a bi-vocational missionary and church planter under the banner of the North American Mission Board. He is also a member of the administration board of the Gwinnett Metro Baptist Network and one of the 10 leaders of the Hispanic Baptist Pastors Leadership Team in North Georgia working in concert with the Georgia Baptist Mission Board.

The Stone Mountain church Valter serves was planted just before the COVID-19 pandemic swept through the nation. Despite the pervasive virus the church has survived and steadily grown with 18 adults and 3 children placing their faith in Jesus Christ.

Valter and his church have resolved to faithfully support the endeavors of Gwinnett, Georgia, and Southern Baptist causes, including SEND Atlanta with its emphasis on evangelism, missions, church planting, church strengthening and pastoral wellness. Agape from its inception has faithfully given 11 percent of its total income to Georgia and Southern Baptist causes.j

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Third Vice President Brian Moore, senior pastor of New Providence Baptist Church in Forsyth.

When Moore became the pastor at New Providence 14 years ago the church was averaging 45 people in Sunday morning worship. The church began to grow immediately and now averages more than 400 in worship and has been named in the top 100 churches in baptisms for five consecutive years.

Under Moore’s leadership New Providence completed the construction of a new worship center in 2015 without having to borrow any money.

In addition to sponsoring missionaries around the world, the church gives 7 percent of their overall budget to the Cooperative Program.

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Fourth Vice President Brian Parker, pastor of First Baptist Church in Kingsland. Parker.

During Parker’s 22 years in ministry, he has always been active in the Baptist association where he has served. Currently, he is on the Administrative Committee of the Southeast Baptist Association and the Executive Committee of the Georgia Baptist Mission Board.

Since 2017, under Parker’s leadership, First Baptist Kingsland has baptized 165 people and added 241 new members and has regularly been numbered among the top 100 churches in baptisms in Georgia.

Parker’s church supports the Cooperative Program and is engaged in missions across the U.S. and internationally with short-term trips to Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Crete and Paris, France.

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