Ten Southern Baptists sworn in as new reps.
WASHINGTON (BP)--At least 10 Southern Baptists were sworn in for the first time Jan. 5 as members of the U.S. House of Representatives.
In addition, two members of Southern Baptist churches were sworn in to start their first terms in the U.S. Senate. Roy Blunt of Missouri and John Boozman of Arkansas came to the Senate after serving in the House for seven and five terms, respectively.
All are Republicans.
The Southern Baptists new to the House are part of the majority achieved by the GOP in the November election. The Republicans hold a 242-193 advantage in the House to begin the 112th Congress. In the Senate, the Democratic caucus has a 53-47 edge.
Here is information on the new House members who have been confirmed to be members of Southern Baptist churches.
Arkansas: Rep. Rick Crawford, First District, Nettleton Baptist Church, Jonesboro; Rep. Tim Griffin, Second District, Immanuel BC, Little Rock.; Rep. Steve Womack, Third District, Cross Church Pinnacle Hills, Rogers.
Florida: Rep. Steve Southerland, Second District, Northstar Church, Panama City; Rep. Daniel Webster, Eighth District, First BC of Central Florida, Orlando.
Georgia: Rep. Austin Scott, Eighth District, First BC, Tifton.
Mississippi: Rep. Alan Nunnelee, First District, Calvary BC, Tupelo.
Oklahoma: Rep. James Lankford, Fifth District, Quail Springs BC, Oklahoma City.
South Carolina: Rep. Jeff Duncan, Third District, First BC, Clinton.
Texas: Rep. Bill Flores, 17th District, Central BC, Bryan.
In addition, Rep. Tom Graves, a Republican representing the Ninth District of Georgia, is serving his first full term in the House. He won a special election in June 2010 to replace Nathan Deal, who vacated his seat to run for governor. Deal won the gubernatorial race in November. Graves is a member of Belmont Baptist Church in Calhoun, Ga.
Also, Rep. Steve Pearce, a Republican from New Mexico, is returning to the House to represent the Second District after two years away. After serving three House terms, he lost a 2008 race for the Senate. Pearce is a member of Taylor Memorial Baptist Church in Hobbs, N.M.
Blunt, the new senator from Missouri, is a member of First Baptist Church in Branson, Mo. Boozman of Arkansas is a member of First Baptist Church in Rogers, Ark.
Other Southern Baptists in the Senate are Republicans Roger Wicker of Mississippi, Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. Coburn was elected in November to his second, six-year term. Wicker will be up for re-election in 2012, Graham in 2014.
Members of Southern Baptist churches who were re-elected to their House seats in November are Reps. Spencer Bachus, R.-Ala.; Trent Franks, R.-Ariz.; Vern Buchanan, R.-Fla.; Paul Broun, R.-Ga.; Lynn Westmoreland, R.-Ga.; Harold Rogers, R.-Ky.; Rodney Alexander, R.-La.; John Fleming, R.-La.; Gregg Harper, R.-Miss.; Sam Graves, R.-Mo.; Heath Shuler, D.-N.C.; Frank Lucas, R.-Okla.; Mike Conaway, R.-Texas; Louie Gohmert, R.-Texas; Al Green, D.-Texas; Randy Neugebauer, R.-Texas, and Randy Forbes, R.-Va.
Compiled by Tom Strode, Washington bureau chief for Baptist Press.