Sawyer heads candidates’ slate for MBC offices
By Allen Palmeri
September 20, 2005
JEFFERSON CITY– Ralph Sawyer, first vice president of the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) and pastor of First Baptist Church, Wentzville, will be nominated to serve as president of the MBC in 2006.
Mike Green, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, Republic, will be nominated for first vice president. Michael Knight, pastor, First Baptist Church, Viburnum, will be nominated for second vice president. Jason Rogers, a member of Calvary Baptist Church, O’Fallon, will be nominated for recording secretary.
“Not only are these four individuals rock solid in their commitment to Christ and in their understanding of the essence of biblical Christianity, but they represent a great cross-section of Missouri Baptist life,” said Roger Moran, research director, Missouri Baptist Layman’s Association (MBLA). “The common thread that runs through each of these men is their passion for spiritual renewal and their desire to see the power of God come upon Missouri Baptists in a way like we’ve never experienced.”
Sawyer, 51, a Lexington native, has served as senior pastor of First Wentzville for six years. Before that he served as senior pastor of Hallsville Baptist Church for 11 years. He has served on the board of trustees for Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Hannibal-LaGrange College, and also served on the Southern Baptist Convention’s Committee on Nominations. He attended The Criswell College, Dallas, Texas.
Sawyer said that while he supports the MBC’s goals of evangelism, church planting and missions, he wants to emphasize what he sees as the fullness of evangelism, which comes about through application of a biblical worldview to various areas of public policy, as the MBC has been doing. He said that if elected, he hopes to encourage some Missouri Baptists to run for office as “salt and light” missionaries, preserving what they can in the process. As president, he also would promote a “no church left behind” mentality within the convention.
“Ralph is one of those pastors whose passion to proclaim the truth of God’s Word is matched only by his love for people,” Moran said. “He will lead us in the ways of holiness, obedience, faithfulness and purity that the power of God might be upon us as we seek to carry out the work that our Lord Jesus Christ has called us to.”
Green, 49, has served as senior pastor of Calvary Baptist for 23½ years. During that time the church has grown from 249 members to about 1,400, and from running about 65 in Sunday School to around 500.
Green is a fifth-generation Missouri Baptist who has been very active within the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) and MBC. He served on the SBC Committee on Committees, the SBC Committee on Order of Business, and the SBC Committee on Nominations. He also served as a trustee at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. On the MBC level, he was president of the 2004 Pastors Conference and a six-year commissioner with the Christian Life Commission. He now is chairman of the Committee on Order of Business and is also a trustee at Hannibal-LaGrange College.
A native of St. Louis, Green was baptized at First Baptist Church, De Soto, and served on staff at three Missouri Baptist churches, including a time as pastor of Iona Baptist Church, Jackson, before coming to Republic.
Knight, 53, has served as senior pastor of First Viburnum for nearly 13 years. He is a former chairman of the MBC Christian Life Commission who has also served on the MBC Resolutions Committee and Credentials Committee. He currently serves as vice chairman of the duly elected Baptist Home board of trustees.
Knight has been pastor of four churches and on the staff of three other churches. He is a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University who holds two advanced degrees, one each from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Ky., and Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Kansas City. He currently serves as an adjunct instructor for Southwest Baptist University’s Salem center.
Rogers, 30, is a commissioner on the Christian Life Commission who serves as the Sunday School director at his church. He also manages the MBLA’s Web site.
At press time, there were no other known nominees for the convention’s four offices.