by James Merritt

Dr. James Merritt
2 Timothy 3:1-4:8


1. Being President of the SBC for one year has been
both one of the greatest blessings, and one of the
greatest burdens of my life. On the one hand, it has
reminded me of just how blessed I am to be a Southern
Baptist. Southern Baptists are not a perfect people,
but they are a precious people. I don't believe there
is a group of Bible believers anywhere in the world
that love Jesus more than Southern Baptists.

2. I sometimes feel like a lady who lived up in the
mountains of North Carolina. She was a Baptist through
and through. She even believed the original
manuscripts of the Bible were published in Nashville.
Her nephew was talking to her one day and he said,
"Aunt Jane, if the Lord were to come back, and you
asked him if He was a Baptist and He said, 'No,' what
would you say?" She said, "I would know it wasn't the

3. Well, I do believe that the Lord Jesus is dear to
the heart of Southern Baptists, and that Southern
Baptists are dear to the heart of the Lord Jesus.
Without question, one of the most humbling and
honoring experiences of my life has been to serve as
your President over the past year, and I thank you
from the bottom of my heart.

4. On the other hand, being President of the largest
evangelical denomination in the world is a burden.
Being a pastor makes you feel like you live in a glass
house; but being president of the Southern Baptist
Convention makes you feel as if that glass house has
been moved right out into the middle of Main Street.
You have to measure everything you say and do at all
times, and pray that both in word and deed you will
always make Southern Baptists proud. It is
frustrating because early on I discovered that when
people find out you are a president they think you can
do anything.

5. Last year a man walked up to me at a conference
and ...

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