Texas pastor Bart Barber announced April 7 his plans to accept a nomination for president of the Southern Baptist Convention during the SBC Annual Meeting in Anaheim, California, June 14–15.
The news came one day after Willy Rice, pastor of Calvary Church in Clearwater, Florida, withdrew his name as a candidate for SBC president. Barber, pastor of First Baptist Church Farmersville, is the third candidate currently vying for the role. Others planning to be nominated are Tom Ascol, pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, Florida, and president of Founders Ministries, and Robin Hadaway, former International Mission Board missionary and a senior missions professor for Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
“Barber is what Southern Baptists are when they are at their best,” said Matt Henslee, this year’s SBC Pastors Conference president, who announced his intention to nominate Barber in a statement to Baptist Press. “As a church, First Baptist Farmersville gives generously through the Cooperative Program and directly supports missionaries and church planters. As a pastor, Barber is actively involved in the local association, state convention and the national level of the Southern Baptist Convention. He preaches the Word faithfully, reaches the lost passionately and truly believes Baptists are at their best when they are working together to advance the Kingdom.”
“Whether I was starting in ministry about 10 miles from him or pastoring churches 600 miles from him, Bart has been a phone call away for counsel or help as I navigated the ups and downs of ministry,” Henslee said. “Now as his associational missionary and fellow pastor, I have a front-row seat to a man who loves his family well, shepherds his church with care and still finds time to encourage pastors and promote unity in our Convention.”
Barber serves as chair of this year’s SBC Committee on Resolutions. In 2017, he preached at the SBC Pastors Conference, served as SBC first vice president from 2013 to 2014 and served on the SBC Committee on Committees in 2008. He served on the executive board of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention from 2008 to 2014 and as a trustee of Southwestern Seminary from 2009 to 2019. He was an adjunct professor at SWBTS from 2006 to 2009 and an active Southern Baptist Disaster Relief volunteer.
He graduated from Baylor University and received his master of divinity and doctorate from SWBTS.
Barber and his wife, Tracy, have two children.