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Tennessee pastor to be nominated for president of SBC pastors' group
By Herb Hollinger
     NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--Jerry Sutton, pastor of Two Rivers Baptist Church, Nashville, Tenn., will be nominated for president of the Southern Baptist Convention Pastors' Conference in Atlanta in June. Johnny Hunt, pastor of First Baptist Church, Woodstock, Ga., according to an April 13 announcement in Nashville, will nominate Sutton. Hunt was in Nashville to preach revival services at LifeWay Christian Resources. "[Sutton] is a visionary pastor and leader who is a great example for pastors across our convention," Hunt said. "He has a great heart for pastors and will give superb leadership to our Pastors' Conference." The annual gathering of the pastors is June 13-14 at the Georgia Dome just prior to the start of the SBC annual meeting June 15-16.
     Sutton told news media last year he might be nominated for the Pastors' Conference president at the 1998 meeting in Salt Lake City. However, Mike Hamlet, pastor of First Baptist Church, North Spartanburg, S.C., was the only person nominated when the pastors' group met and was elected by acclamation. As pastor of the largest Southern Baptist church in the Nashville area, Sutton has been at Two Rivers since 1986. It has 6,500 members with more than 2,000 people baptized since 1986 and more than $3 million channeled through the Cooperative Program for missions. Total gifts last year at Two Rivers were more than $6 million. Sunday school attendance has grown from 1,200 in 1986 to more than 2,100 today, officials said. Recently a 3,200-seat auditorium was built on the50 acres of property across from the Opryland Hotel in Nashville.
     A trustee for LifeWay Christian Resources from 1990-98, Sutton was vice chairman from 1993-95. He leads conferences for the SBC publishing house and is one of its contributing writers. He currently is working on a history of recent years in the SBC that should be completed this year, according to the Broadman & Holman publishing arm.
     "Two years ago Jerry made an extended trip to China with the International Mission Board and has since led businessmen back to China and other areas in creative mission endeavors," said James T. Draper Jr., president of LifeWay Christian Resources and a member of Two Rivers church. "He has a great heart for the world and is currently planning a large missions gathering in cooperation with IMB for this December that will involved key strategic leaders around the world who will meet with pastors and leaders of Southern Baptist churches."
Sutton, 47, is featured weekly on the national television network, FamilyNet, in "Real Faith with Dr. Jerry Sutton."A native of Mobile, Ala., Sutton earned a bachelor of arts degree from the University of South Alabama and M.Div. and Ph.D. degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas.Sutton and his wife, Fern, have two daughters, Ashli and Hillary.

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