"Shine Like Stars In The World" Philippians 2:15
Bowling Green Pastor Tom James to be nominated for KBC presidency

By Drew Nichter

Bowling Green—Tom James, pastor of Eastwood Baptist Church in Bowling Green, will be nominated as Kentucky Baptist Convention president when the KBC annual meeting convenes Nov. 11 in Bowling Green.

Tom James

James, a former KBC first vice president and Pastors’ Conference president, will be nominated by John Mark Toby, director of missions for Warren Association of Baptists. James is the first announced candidate for the post.

Toby described James as an effective communicator of God’s word and a “proven leader who Kentucky Baptists can rely on to move us forward by faith into the future.”

“Tom has a heart for God, a connection in the community, a concern for Kentucky and a passion for the world,” said Toby, a former KBC president.

James said he has been encouraged in recent years to consider serving as the state convention’s top elected leader. It was only after “sensing the leadership of the Holy Spirit in my life,” as well as the Lord’s leadership that he agreed to be nominated, he said.

“I would like to come alongside to encourage and support our state executive director and the leadership of our Mission Board,” James told the Western Recorder. “I would like to work with our convention staff and churches in discerning ways we might reach more Kentuckians for Christ.”

To that end, James said he wants to see a continued statewide emphasis placed on giving through the Cooperative Program. The church has certainly led by example, giving nearly 12.5 percent of its undesignated receipts through CP, according to records provided by the KBC’s finance and business services team.

Eastwood Baptist Church was recognized by the convention last November for giving more than $253,000 through the Cooperative Program in the 2012-13 fiscal year, the third-highest total among Kentucky Baptist churches.

James also pointed out that the Bowling Green church maintains seven missions partnerships on five continents.

“Eastwood only had a partnership in Lynch (in eastern Kentucky) when I came to serve as pastor,” he recalled.

“I’d like to help see churches revitalized and strengthened with an Acts 1:8 vision to reach people beginning in their Jerusalem and extending out to the ends of the earth,” James added.

James has led Eastwood Baptist as pastor since 2004. Prior to that, he served churches in Tennessee and South Carolina.

James was elected the KBC’s first vice president in 2012. He was chosen to preach the convention sermon at the 2011 annual meeting and presided over the 2009 Kentucky Baptist Pastors’ Conference.

On the Southern Baptist Convention level, James was a member of the Executive Committee from 1999-2004.

James graduated from Stetson University in DeLand, Fla., and earned an M.Div. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.

In addition to the church’s 12.5 percent giving through the Cooperative Program, the KBC’s Annual Church Profile shows Eastwood Baptist reported 22 baptisms in 2013. (WR)