- Thomas Green of Brandon has been elected to lead the one million-member Florida Baptist State Convention as executive director-treasurer of the Florida Baptist Convention.
The pastor of First Baptist Church in Brandon was tapped by the State Board of Missions during its May meeting in Leesburg. In remarks to the Board, he pledged that by November 2015 he will present an annual budget for 2016 that will send 51 percent to the Southern Baptist Convention and 49 percent to Florida Baptist missions and ministries.
“By sending more than we are keeping, I believe God will honor and bless that as He did the fishes and the loaves,” Green said.
As the 10th executive director of the Florida Baptist Convention, Green, 57, succeeds John Sullivan, who retired in February after serving in that role from 1989 to 2015, the longest tenure in Florida Baptist history.
The unanimous recommendation was brought by a nine-person search committee appointed at the time of Sullivan’s retirement announcement in September 2014.
Green is no stranger to Florida Baptists. He was elected as the Florida Baptist State Convention president in 2003 and 2004. He is completing a three-year term on the State Board, having previously served on it from 1999-2005. During his first tenure he was twice elected Board president in 2000-01 and 2001-02.
The Alabama native has served as senior pastor of First Brandon since April 1996. During his 19-year tenure, he led the church to double its membership to 5,700 from 2,723. Under his leadership the church has been a pacesetter among Florida Baptist churches in evangelism and baptisms, with 100 people being led into baptismal waters each year.
Prior to coming to Florida, Green served as pastor of First Baptist Church in Buford, Ga., 1988-1996; Franklin Creek Baptist Church, Pascagoula, Miss., 1985-88 and Chesbrough Baptist Church in Kentwood, La., 1982-85.
He earned a Doctor of Theology and Master of Divinity degrees from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and the Bachelor of Arts degree from Samford University in Birmingham, Ala., in 1980. Married to his spouse, Karen, since August 17, 1979, the couple has three grown children, John Green IV of Jacksonville; Philip Green and Matthew Green of Brandon. John Green, who serves as vice president of the State Board and as pastor of Shindler Drive Baptist Church in Jacksonville, and his wife, Katherine, have three children.