Dr. Cox is one that will represent the entire Southern Baptist Convention. He has posted an answer to a question over at his place found here. I want to focus on this one answer to a question he has posted at his blog.
From Dr. Cox’s experience one can trust his leadership potential along with his desire for strengthening the small churches. Just read the following question along with his answer and see what I mean.
What is your ministry experience?
My ministry experience is like so many others who are pastoring Southern Baptist churches. At seventeen years of age God called me to preach and I responded. God began to open doors for me to speak. It didn’t matter if it was to a small youth group, whether it was to youth encampments, God just opened the doors and I went through them. I entered college at Truett-McConnell College in Cleveland, Georgia. It was there I was assigned as a preacher on what we called Impact Teams that went out from our Baptist Student Union. I began to preach in small churches around north Georgia during my college days. God continued to open the doors.
The summer after my first year in college God opened an opportunity for me to be the summer youth minister at Calvary Baptist Church in Lilburn, Georgia. It was only to last three months but turned into three years. God gave me invaluable experience at Calvary Baptist Church. Dick Lincoln was my pastor and he was helpful in utilizing my spiritual gifts for ministry. He allowed me to preach every now and then for him, and he utilized me in outreach as well as youth ministry.
In 1978 I left Calvary Baptist Church after graduating from Mercer University and went to New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. It was there I became the pastor of the Barataria Baptist Church in Lafitte, Louisiana. Some of the greatest people in the world are in that church, even to this day. They allowed me to be their pastor and to cut my teeth on preaching. . They must have sat through many terrible sermons, but they were always encouraging. God used us in a great way in that little bayou church, and when I graduated from New Orleans I came to my present pastorate.
In November of 1980 I became the Pastor of what was then called Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Duluth, Georgia. It was my first church out of seminary and to this day, right at 28 years later, I still pastor this congregation. When I came we were running just over 100 in Sunday School, and over the years God has been faithful to grow His church utilizing our gifts and abilities along with hundreds of others in our fellowship to build a great church. I have pastored a small church, a medium sized church, and a large church, all in the same context.
In 1995 our church voted unanimously to relocate ten miles north of where we were located. At that time we changed the name of our church from Pleasant Hill Baptist Church to North Metro First Baptist Church. It has been a wonderful, wonderful experience. Dr. Charles Carter, formerly of Jonesboro First Baptist Church gave me insight into growing a large church. He said, “Frank, if you’ll go to a small church and just stay put and grow it a little bit every year, several years down the road you’ll look up one day and realize God has used you to build a large church.” Well, that is what God has done with us here at North Metro. Even though some may consider us to be a large church, I still see myself as that small-church pastor that came here in 1980 and God has just blessed! In fact, if you were to come into my study, you would see a picture next to my desk, a rather large picture, of a shack on stilts on the bayous of Louisiana. Many times people ask me why that picture is there. It’s there to remind me, no matter what God does in my life or through my life; I want to always remember where I came from. That one picture serves to keep everything in perspective. That is exactly who I am.
What a great man for the next President of the Southern Baptist Convention.