Mac Brunson has been joined by Heath Lambert as senior pastors of First Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Fla.
Brunson, 60, has been the 10,000-member church’s senior pastor since 2006. Lambert, 38, a professor at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, has been the church’s associate pastor since January 2016.
Lambert’s role as co-pastor with Brunson was approved by the four-campus church Sept. 24, according to the Florida Times-Union newspaper in Jacksonville.
Brunson led First Baptist Church in Dallas from 1999-2006 before accepting the Jacksonville pastorate, succeeding Jerry Vines who had served the church 23 years. Vines was a co-pastor at the church with the late Homer Lindsay Jr. for more than 15 years. Brunson was the 2003 president of the SBC Pastors’ Conference.
Lambert has been associate professor of biblical counseling at Southern Seminary, joining the faculty in 2006. He also serves as executive director of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, with certified members in 18 countries, and is a founding board member of the Biblical Counseling Coalition.
Brunson first heard Lambert preach during FBC JAX’s annual Pastors’ Conference in 2015, recounting to the Times-Union he thought at the time that Lambert “doesn’t need to be in a classroom” but “needs to be in a pulpit.”
Lambert, who has held pastoral ministry positions in Kentucky and North Carolina churches, told the paper he had missed being in the pulpit and was honored by “well-known and well-respected” FBC Jacksonville offering the “opportunity to work for — and with — someone like Mac Brunson.”
Brunson told the Times-Union he isn’t ready to retire but intends to remain at First Baptist another five years. He did want, however, a smooth transition to the next pastor, telling the paper, “Transitions are hard, unbelievably hard. It just goes on and on.”
SOURCE: Baptist Press