FARMERSVILLE, Texas (BNM) - Bart Barber, pastor of First Baptist Church, Farmersville, Texas, announced his intention to nominate New Mexico pastor Matt Henslee as president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s 2021 Pastors’ Conference.
Barber made the announcement Thursday (Jan. 2) via Twitter, stating, “If the Lord is willing, at the SBC Annual Meeting in Orlando this June, I will nominate Matt Henslee to serve as 2021 SBC Pastors’ Conference president.”
In a separate tweet, Henslee responded to Barber’s intention to nominate him, stating, “Encouraging pastors in the trenches is one of my greatest joys. I look forward to how He’ll work in and through the 2021 SBC Pastors’ Conference. Southern Baptists are at their best when they’re worshipping together, cooperating together, and advancing the Kingdom together.
In written comments provided to the Baptist New Mexican, Barber said he announced his intention to nominate Henslee because he has “seen the way God has uniquely gifted him to choose and produce content that is an encouragement to pastors. He is a multi-platform encourager, making the most of his every opportunity to cheer on the pastors who are serving in the most difficult, least recognized positions in our convention. If Matt can accomplish what he has already accomplished to encourage these pastors through a book, a podcast, a blog, and some social media accounts, then I’d like to see what Matt can do to encourage pastors with a larger platform than that.”
Speaking to qualities and characteristics that Henslee would bring as a potential Pastors’ Conference president, Barber said, “Matt is an excellent preacher, but generally speaking, the President of the Pastors’ Conference doesn’t preach at the Pastors’ Conference. Matt is a great pastor, but the Pastors’ Conference isn’t a church and it doesn’t need a pastor. The task that the Pastors’ Conference President faces is to plan out two days of content that will wrap the arms of God around SBC pastors and send them home better equipped, more encouraged, and more determined to complete the ministry they have received in the Lord. Through his work with LifeWay, with the Mountain Valley Baptist Association, with the BCNM, his book, and his internet presence, Matt has been at work doing just that already, and I think he is doing a great job. I’m hoping that he will bring those skills to this task and produce a Pastors’ Conference that will keep us all glued to our seats.”
Henslee is pastor of Mayhill Baptist Church. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Studies from Dallas Baptist University and a Master of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. He is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in expositional preaching from SWBTS.
Henslee is the Baptist Convention of New Mexico’s current second vice president. He was a member of the 2019 SBC Credentials Committee.
In a phone interview with the Baptist New Mexican, Henslee confirmed that he would accept Barber’s nomination and the position if elected during the 2020 Pastors’ Conference in Orlando.
The 2021 Pastor’ Conference will take place before the 2021 Southern Baptist Convention in Nashville, Tennessee. The 2020 Pastors’ Conference is scheduled for June 7-8 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. David Uth, pastor of First Baptist Church, Orlando, is the 2020 Pastors’ Conference president.
This is a developing story. It will be updated as new information is made available.
Update: On January 6, 2020 this article was updated to included comments provided to the Baptist New Mexican by Bart Barber and Matt Henslee.