N.C. leader reportedly offered First Baptist, Dallas, pastorate

by Herb Hollinger, posted Thursday, April 22, 1999 (19 years ago)

DALLAS (BP)--First Baptist Church in Dallas, without a pastor for 18 months, has apparently offered the job to the president of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, a pastor in High Point, N.C.

According to media outlets in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, Mac Brunson, senior pastor of Green Street Baptist Church, High Point, has been offered the Dallas post but has not yet given the church an answer.

“I’ve not given them a reply,” Brunson told The Dallas Morning News in its April 20 edition. “I’m still in the praying process.”

Calls to Brunson’s office by Baptist Press April 21 were not returned.

If Brunson accepts the Dallas pastorate, he would follow O. S. Hawkins who left the church to become president of the Annuity Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. He would be the third pastor this decade. The legendary W. A. Criswell, now 89, was joined by Joel Gregory in 1990 as co-pastor. Gregory left 20 months later.

Although The Dallas Morning News said “Criswell, senior pastor emeritus, announced last Sunday that the search committee had made an offer” neither he, nor church officials would name the person. Church officials would not comment about Brunson nor the progress of the search, the newspaper reported.

Brunson, 41, has been pastor of the North Carolina church for six years and was elected president of the state convention in 1997. He is a graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth.

First Baptist Church, Dallas, is one of the most well-known Southern Baptist churches and one of the largest with a membership of 26,000, a campus of several blocks in downtown Dallas, two dozen satellite congregations, a 500-bed homeless shelter, a college, Christian academy, pregnancy center and a radio station.

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