LOUISVILLE, Ky. (KT) - A Kentucky native with experience as a pastor and administrator is the candidate to guide the state’s largest religious organization that serves 2,400 churches.
Dr. Todd Gray has been nominated by the Kentucky Baptist Convention’s search committee to fill the post of executive director-treasurer. The job was made vacant by Dr. Paul Chitwood, who left in November to become president of the Southern Baptist Convention's International Mission Board.
Gray has worked for the Kentucky Baptist Convention since 2012. He first served as a regional consultant to churches in western Kentucky and has been the team leader of the Evangelism, Church Planting and Campus Ministry team since 2016.
Search Committee Chairman Wes Fowler said Gray’s zeal for evangelism is one of the reasons the committee selected him from several capable candidates.
“I was in a Bible study with Todd Gray about eight years ago and he greatly influenced me to be more evangelistic,” Fowler said. “If he has that effect on me, I know he’ll have that effect on other pastors in the KBC. I think that’s what we need.”
Prior to his role at the KBC, Gray pastored churches for 20 years. He’s served at New Hope Baptist in Cadiz, Kentucky, Bethel Baptist in Memphis, Indiana, and First Baptist of Oak Grove, Kentucky.
He calls the process of being considered as the candidate one of the greatest honors of his life. “It’s very humbling. I love what God’s given me to do. I’m excited about the possibility of helping to lead our Convention as we move forward,” said Gray.
Gray said his love for Jesus Christ and the local church will motivate him if he’s confirmed. “There is no organization on Earth that has the potential to impact the community, the state and the world like the local church does,” Gray said. “The Kentucky Baptist Convention was created by churches, for churches, to help churches do what God has called them to do. I feel a strong sense of calling to help lead forward in this work.”
A special called meeting of the Kentucky Baptist Convention Mission Board to consider Gray’s nomination is set for July 25 at the Kentucky Baptist Building in Louisville. The KBC Mission Board is made up of representatives from Baptist Associations across Kentucky. The Mission Board has 101 members from 69 associations.
Tim Searcy, search committee member and current president of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, said, “I have full confidence that the committee was led by the Holy Spirit of God to select His man for the job.”
A desire for a heightened emphasis on evangelism is evident throughout the reaction of search committee members. Linda Cooper, president of the National Woman’s Missionary Union and a search committee member, said, “Dr. Todd Gray is the man for the KBC for such a time as this. With baptisms down and lostness all around us, I’m confident he will lead us forward. I’m praying many souls will come to know Jesus as a result.”
Nate Bishop, pastor of Forest Baptist Church in Louisville, and a search committee member, said he’s excited about Gray’s nomination. “He has been a tremendous blessing for the churches of the KBC in his ability to engage, encourage and equip the diverse congregations from Paducah to Pikeville for the work of the ministry.”
Gray, 54, graduated from Murray State University and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary with two degrees.
He is originally from Lamasco, Kentucky, and worked for five years as a territory manager for Midwest Equipment Co., handling millions of dollars of outdoor power equipment sales before becoming a pastor.