Georgia Baptist Convention Unanimously Elects Thomas Hammond as Next Executive Director

Georgia Baptist Convention Executive Committee members voted with a singular “yes” to a search team’s recommendation Tuesday (Sept. 11) that pastor Thomas Hammond become the convention’s next executive director.

Hammond, 56, is lead pastor of First Baptist Church in Alpharetta and was president of the Georgia Baptist Convention from 2015-2017.

“We wanted someone who loves Jesus, loves people, loves the church, loves making disciples and loves Georgia Baptists,” said search team chairman Bob Jolly, pastor of First Baptist Church in Cumming. “We wanted someone doctrinally sound, denominationally connected, diversity-inclusive and dedicated to unity.

“We wanted someone who was Great Commission-driven, Georgia-focused, but globally-aware and concerned.”

Hammond, in leading the Georgia convention, will bring 17 years of denominational service from across the Southern Baptist Convention to the post. He formerly served as vice president for convention advancement with the SBC Executive Committee, senior director for church evangelism for the North American Mission Board and director of missions at Metrolina Baptist Association in Charlotte, N.C. In addition, he was minister of evangelism at Hebron Baptist Church in Dacula, Ga., and evangelism associate at the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio.

As lead pastor at Alpharetta First Baptist since 2013, Hammond led the church into the top 10 percent of fastest-growing churches in the state convention. AFBC planted three churches, began a Latino and Persian ministry, and increased its Cooperative Program giving from 1 percent to 6 percent. First Baptist baptized some 250 people. He also has been a chaplain for the Alpharetta police and fire departments.

Hammond has been a trustee of Truett McConnell University in Cleveland, Ga.; LifeWay Christian Resources; and King’s Ridge Christian School in Alpharetta. Midwestern, New Orleans, Southeastern, Southwestern and Mid-America Baptist seminaries have all invited him over the years as a guest lecturer.

The executive director-elect spearheaded a concentrated convention effort to increase Easter attendance in 2017 with The Big Invite. He also led in the creation of The Net, an evangelism software available for pastors and churches, and TheBigDay.org, a call to prayer for neighbors needing Christ. As GBC president, Hammond also championed an initiative among pastors to pray for one another.

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Source: Baptist Press