BALTIMORE — The Rev. Ronnie Floyd, pastor of the multicampus Cross Church based in Springdale, was elected as president of the Southern Baptist Convention on Tuesday in Baltimore, with 51 percent of the vote. Floyd will succeed the Rev. Fred Luter, the first black president of the nation’s largest Protestant denomination.
Floyd will be the third Arkansan to serve as president since the denomination was formed in 1845. The others included James Philip Eagle, the state’s 16th governor, and Brooks Hays, a layman. He will serve at a time when Southern Baptists are experiencing a loss in membership, as well as a decline in baptisms. Floyd has previously called on his fellow Baptists to do more to spread the Gospel.
The Springdale pastor was nominated as president in 2006 but lost to the Rev. Frank Page, who now serves as president of the denomination’s Executive Committee.