NEW ORLEANS -- South Carolina pastor Brad Atkins will be nominated for Southern Baptist Convention second vice president during the denomination's Tuesday-Wednesday annual meeting in New Orleans.
Atkins, 39, pastor of Powdersville First Baptist Church in Easley, S.C., and president of the South Carolina Baptist Convention, will be nominated by Johnny Touchet, pastor of Mt. Moriah Baptist Church in Piedmont, S.C.
"Brad has not been a pastor of a large church or written any books, but he has a heart for the Southern Baptist Convention," Touchet said in a news release provided to the Baptist Courier newspaper. "He desires to help lead the SBC into the future with unity among our members and focus within our leadership.
"Now is the time for the SBC to be united in our efforts to help reach the nations with the Gospel as we all seek Great Commission living."
Atkins served in successive years as second vice president and first vice president of the South Carolina Baptist Convention before being elected SCBC president in November 2011. He also served on the state convention's Great Commission Resurgence Task Force in 2011.
Atkins has served at First Baptist church since 2006. Since he became pastor, the church has grown from fewer than 30 to more than 350 in average attendance, adding 183 new members and baptizing 68.
The church has also increased its missions giving to 13 percent of undesignated receipts -- with 7 percent going to the Cooperative Program, 3 percent to the Piedmont Baptist Association, and 1 percent to each of three church planters/missionaries. Atkins has led his church to take part in mission trips to Pennsylvania, Georgia, Florida and Romania.
He earned a bachelor of arts in Christian studies from North Greenville University, attended Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary's extension campus at Anderson University and completed a master of ministry degree at Andersonville Theological Seminary.
He is the husband of Hayley Brooks Atkins. They have two children: Annie Laurie, 13, and Will, 11.
Atkins was born in Motlow Creek, S.C., and grew up in a rural Southern Baptist church. He was saved at 17 and soon answered a call to ministry. He has served on staff at three South Carolina Baptist churches over the past 15 years.
Also expected to be nominated for second vice president are Eric Hankins, pastor of First Baptist Church in Oxford, Miss., and Dave Miller, pastor of Southern Hills Baptist Church in Sioux City, Iowa. --30-- Butch Blume is managing editor of the Baptist Courier, online at http://www.baptistcourier.com