First Vice-President: Dr. Jim Richards Jim Richards is the Executive Director of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention. Today Baptist Press will announce Dr. Richards's candidacy for First Vice-President of the Southern Baptist Convention. I enthusiastically and wholeheartedly recommend that you vote for him because:
- Dr. Richards has demonstrated an exemplary commitment to the Cooperative Program. He has led the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention toward a nearly-accomplished goal of forwarding 55% of all Cooperative Program receipts to national and international causes. Now, I'm proud of our church's 10% commitment to the CP, but Dr. Richards's leadership with regard to the CP, applying as it does to the contributions of so many churches, makes an enormous impact.
- Dr. Richards has demonstrated an exemplary commitment to the Great Commission. Under his leadership, the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention has given strong attention to church planting in Texas and to an Acts 1:8 vision for the whole world.
- Dr. Richards has demonstrated bold forward-thinking regarding the Southern Baptist Convention. The SBTC is lean and focused—a model for the kind of bureaucracy reduction that would be healthy for all of our convention.
- Dr. Richards is a solid conservative and a Baptist-by-conviction.
- Dr. Richards has demonstrated an admirable model for navigating these stormy waters of Baptist discourse. The SBTC is by no means monolithic, but it is centered around shared doctrinal conviction—a good, healthy balance of these two important components of Baptist cooperation. Although it is difficult to overstate the tension that sometimes characterizes relationships among Baptists in Texas, Dr. Richards has led the SBTC to be an institution circumspect about not speaking ill of the BGCT. When our congregation first investigated the possibility of joining SBTC, we had firmly decided not to join up with any sort of "government-in-exile" that was consumed with sniping at the BGCT. I have been delighted to discover that BGCT is almost never mentioned at all in SBTC meetings and events. Jim Richards is more responsible than anyone for the irenic and forward-looking nature of the SBTC.
- Finally, Jim Richards loves the Lord Jesus Christ and loves souls.