Johnny Hunt–SBC President

Posted: June 10, 2008 in Uncategorized

What a pleasant surprise.  First ballot and Brother Johnny Hunt walked out of the election process as President of the Southern Baptist Convention.  Everyone knows that I endorsed Brother Frank Cox and that was something that I felt led to do and I kept my word.  I knew that either Brother Johnny or Brother Frank would make an excellent president.  I beilieve that Brother Johnny is the man for the postion as the convention as spoken.  I believe he will do a tremendous job for three reasons.

First, Brother Johnny did not come from Baptist Blue blood.  He has been used by God tremendously and, let’s face it, he does not need the SBC.  Brother Johnny was elected on the first ballot by a 52% of 5800 ballots.  That is the number of people he preaches to every Sunday AM.  He has a heart to the SBC not become some elititst status.  I believe that he will do all that he can to keep us focused on the lost.

Second, Brother Johnny mentores many younger pastors and promotes healing for hurting pastors.  In a convention that has been diagnosed as too gray haired, he will be a fresh voice.  He reaches out to younger pastors and has mentored many through his Timothy/Barnabas schools.  He is known across the convention as the mentor of younger pastors.  He also helps those that stumble along the way with his City of Refuge ministry.  God has used him to put that ministry together and he also has done much to encourage pastors that are hurting in their ministry.  I can personally tell you that he has always returned my phone calls.  I have never called his office and left a message that he did not call me and take time to hear me ask questions.

Third, Brother Johnny has pastored churches in various stages in his ministry.  He has a humble attitude about himself.  As I came walking through the convention hall, he stopped speaking to about three people to call to me and greet me with a warm handshake and hug.  Brother Johnny remembers you when he meets you. 

This convention seems to be shaping up to be one that is a convention of unity.  This unity is seen in the first ballot win of Brother Johnny Hunt.  I praise God for this direction and look forward to what the next two years hold.

Comments
  1. Bill says:

    Tim: I wanted to drop in and say thanks for the report. You are the only blogger (I have read) who I would place in the BI camp who didn’t use Dr. Hunt’s victory as an opportunity to take a cheap shot at someone else. Unity indeed.

  2. David R. Brumbelow says:

    Tim,
    Thanks for the report. I miss being there.
    I agree that Johnny Hunt will be a great president. As I’ve said before, I believe the SBCs greatest days are ahead. I look forward to what God is going to do.
    David R. Brumbelow

  3. michael mcgirt says:

    Brother Tim,

    You ought to be ashamed of yourself for not voting for our native NC brother! You know I’m kidding! Either one of the men would have been great, but gotta admit we love Preacher Johnny! I thought you might change your vote to Brother Les or Brother Wiley but guess not. How did your resolution turn out?

  4. Alvin Reid says:

    Nice Tim. I am not there but have talked to folks and sounds like the spirit is really good at the convention. Johnny will be a blessing I am sure.

  5. jamie steele says:

    Tim,
    Thanks for the report.
    Johnny will do a great job.

  6. Tim Rogers says:

    Brother Bill,

    Thanks for the words of encouragement, but I assure you the BI guys are not taking cheap shots, as far as I have seen.

    Brother David,

    Wish you were here.

    Brother Mike,

    It has been good to see you.

    Dr. Reid,

    Hope the beach is going well. Don’t forget the SPF-32:) Had a good conversation with Dr. Finn.

    Brother Jamie,

    Have I missed you here at the convention, or are you at home?

    Blessings,
    Tim

  7. Jim Champion says:

    Tim

    Did anything happen with your resolution – I may have missed it.

    Jim

  8. volfan007 says:

    Tim,

    Tell Rebecca that Mrs. Sherrie and Bro. David said, “Howdy.”

    Wasnt the movie tremendous? Brother, that movie is a must see. I’m talking about Fireproof. Wow!

    David

  9. Tim Rogers says:

    Brother Jim,

    The RC took the resolution, re-named it and then placed their own version. I spoke with Brother Dwight and it was agreed between the two of us that we had accomplished our goal. The Resolution from the committee passed without question or comment, by what appeared to be unanimous majority.

    Brother David,

    First, it is “Rebekah” not “Rebecca”. She goes crazy when people get that wrong. :)

    Second, you will never know the impact you had on her by getting that milkshake for her. She is still talking about how nice Mr. David was to do that. And also the surprise it was to her. Thank you for your kind gesture, it made her convention.

    Finally, you better believe it was a good movie. The lady that plays the lead role, is a friend of my Youth Minister’s wife. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and have been asked by our state paper editor to do a review. That is a project that will certainly be a challenge.

    I pray that everyone made it home safely. My heart and prayers are with those in Indiana that have been affected by the flood. It was a devastating sight to see on the news.

    Blessings,
    Tim

  10. Tim,

    I appreciate the resolution. It’s good. It makes a great statement about where the SBC might go in the future. Thanks for all you work.

    Alan

  11. Tim Rogers says:

    Brother Alan,

    Do you realize that we passed a resolution for the inclusion of more minorities at the same Convention that we elected the first American Indian? What a great convention.

    Blessings,
    Tim

  12. Tim,

    It was good getting to visit with you again at the convention. All in all, I think that it was a terrific week for Southern Baptists. God bless!!!

    In Christ,
    Jeremy

  13. pastoralan says:

    Tim,

    Yes, it’s exciting that Johnny Hunt, a Native Indian American, is the SBC president. And I am excited about the resolution passing. It’s a great statement about the future of the SBC.

    I would be interested to know what you think of my post on the President to follow Johnny Hunt. I posted on it at my blog.

    We need to fish some time.

  14. Glenn Jonas says:

    Tim,
    Do you have any concerns about the reports concerning Johnny Hunt’s use of “Dr.” in front of his name when the only credentials he seems to have would be two honorary degrees from two diploma mills in Georgia? Seems to me that there might be some integrity concerns that should be voiced. Many of us worked very, very hard for years to complete a doctoral degree. If all I had was an honorary degree from a diploma mill, I’d never allow myself to be called “Dr.” In fact, I don’t even relish the title at all. I always tell people just to call me “Glenn.”

    Robert Parham at Ethicsdaily.com has a good story about this and a number of us have blogged about it.

    http://ethicsdaily.com/article_detail.cfm?AID=10605

    Thanks,
    Glenn

  15. Tim Rogers says:

    Brother Jeremy,

    It was good seeing you again also.

    Brother Alan,

    The only fishing I know how to do is cane pole and crickets for brim, while standing on the side of the bank. :)

    Dr. Jonas,

    Good to hear from you. Whatever title anyone goes by is their decision. If Dr. Hunt decides to call himself “Dr” based on his honorary degrees, that would be his business. It seems, according to this, and this, Dr. Paul Powell holds honorary doctorates and no one seems to be concerned with his honorary degrees.

    To be fair, I have also noticed that Dr. Powell has “PhD” behind his name. However, when he was with the Annuity Board, he only held the honorary degrees that I know about. I could be mistaken, but I remember being at Campbell when Dr. Powell received his honorary degree from your institution. Can you tell me when he received his PhD?

    My point is that I believe Dr. Powell held his honorary degrees before he did his PhD. No one seemed to question Dr. Powell using the title “Dr.”

    Blessings,
    Tim

    Blessings,
    Tim

  16. jamie steele says:

    Glenn,
    Does it really matter? Johnny is a great man. i am sure he doesn’t care what you call him.

  17. Glenn Jonas says:

    Thanks for the comments Tim and Jamie. First for Tim. I cannot speak with authority about Paul Powell’s academic pedigree except that I know he has a B.A. from Baylor and a graduate degree (back in those days it was a B.Div., now it is an M.Div.) from SWBTS. I suspect you are right about his honorary degrees. In fact, I think he has honorary degrees from Baylor, East Texas Baptist University, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and Campbell. The difference between Powell and Hunt: Each of those schools that gave Powell honorary doctoral degrees is a reputable, credible, academic institution. Hunt’s degrees come from two “diploma mills,” schools with absolutely no credible academic standing. They are literally “mail order” degree schools and he didn’t even complete the mail order degree! So, to use the title “Dr.” in front of his name, I think, suggests a real integrity problem.

    That aside, I actually have problem with anyone with an honorary degree using “Dr.” as a title in front of their name. It is simply not an earned academic degree and using “Dr.” in front of their name implies that it is, hence there seems to be a slight bit of dishonesty involved.

    I am writing an article right now about Charles Howard, who spent most of his career related to Campbell University. His only doctoral degree was an honorary degree and I found a quote from him in a letter he wrote once that said this: “The ‘Dr.’ by my name in these bulletins is not my fault. They have been told over and over again that it is not my privilege to have that distinction. They just go on and use it anyway. It is a little embarrassing and some trouble to keep constantly explaining that it is incorrect.”

    I see a real difference between Charles Howard’s attitude and other preachers who do not do the hard work to earn a degree but use the title anyway.

    As for me, just call me “Glenn.” I don’t need to have my ego stroked by a title. But, I have serious ethical concerns about people who use the title when they haven’t earned it.

    Jamie, I think my answer to Tim addressed your question. My concern is for ethical integrity. And, to use a title that you didn’t earn implies to me a certain lack of integrity to say the least and dishonesty to say the worst.

    Thanks for hearing me out!

    Glenn

  18. Glenn Jonas says:

    One more thing I will add. I am not implying that Johnny Hunt actually asks people to use the “Dr.” in front of his name. Some people out of ignorance may do so. However, I do believe he should make some type of objection when it is used much like Charles Howard did.

    Glenn

  19. Tim Rogers says:

    Dr. Jonas,

    Help me understand something. When you reference “earned doctorates” are you only referencing PhD’s or do you also allow for D-Min. to pass for “earned doctorates”? You know Dr. Cox was taken to task before the convention on a blog concerning his D-Min from Luther Rice.

    Blessings,
    Tim

  20. Glenn Jonas says:

    Tim,
    I consider a D.Min. to be an “earned” doctorate. There is a significant level of work involved with a D.Min. The quality of programs vary from school to school however. I’m not going to get into which schools have good D.Min. programs etc. The “gold standard” for any degree would be the school’s accreditation. Reputable D.Min. degrees would be accredited by the Association of Theological Schools.

    My whole point with the post above is simply that Johnny Hunt has “honorary” doctoral degrees and they are not even from legitimately accredited institutions. They are what we sometimes refer to as a “diploma mill.” Pay a certain amount of money, do a certain amount of correspondence work, and they give you a degree. Johnny Hunt did not even do the work though. That’s my point.

    Glenn

  21. Tim Rogers says:

    Dr. Jonas,

    I agree with you as to the D-Min being an “earned degree”. One thing I was told when I first went into the ministry was to only do degree work in schools with “reputable” accreditation. I have always sought to do that.

    As to your knowledge of Dr. Hunt’s work for the honorary degree, I do not believe he ever states otherwise in any of his biographical information. Everything I have seen reveals a listing of these degrees as “honorary”. Thus, for me, there is no integrity issue. His honorary degree is the same as other honorary degrees. He makes a donation, just as others, and then he receives an honorary degree. Or, he does not make a donation and the school decides they would like to have his name associated with theirs and they invite him to speak to a graduation class and award him an honorary degree.

    One other thing, Dr. Charles Howard was a former pastor of the church I grew up in. I remember Dr. Howard speaking to the fact of his honorary degree. He called attention to it in the bulletin and stated something very similar to your quote. He went on to state that he had stopped trying to correct it because of the hassle with explaining it. Could it be that Dr. Hunt is in the same situation. He certainly does not edit the publications sent out at the conferences he speaks.

    All of this to say, your issue may be one that has legs if Dr. Hunt listed these degrees as “earned” degrees. However, he doesn’t. He lists these degrees in everything he publishes as “honorary” degrees. Never once does he take credit for a degree he has not done the work for.

    I believe your insistence of an integrity problem by the use of “Dr.” as a prefix for Brother Johnny’s name is just not accurate. Dr. Hunt is a man of integrity.

    Blessings,
    Tim

  22. Bill says:

    It looks like the FBC webpage uses Pastor Hunt while It’s a New Day Ministries uses Dr. Hunt.

    I don’t know anything about the latter, so I don’t know if that is a ministry run by JH.

    I can see people using the Dr. without his approval. But I agree that one should not use the prefix Dr. themselves unless they have an earned degree. I’ve never really heard of someone with an honorary degree calling themselves Dr. although I suppose it happens.

    Did JH’s nominator use Dr. Hunt? How did his name appear in the convention literature?

  23. Bill says:

    Correction. The pastor’s message on the FBC webpage is signed “Dr. Johnny M. Hunt”

  24. Tim B says:

    Tim,

    I have have always been a little embarrassed for minister’s who have attached the term Dr. to their name when those degrees have come from the mail order type bible institutes. I remember in seminary one of my dorm mates told me how his cousin laughed at him for wasting his time spending three years and a lot of money on a mdiv when he had finished his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate at one of these bible institutes for a lot less money in three years.

    The Bible institutes have their place and have trained a great number of outstanding pastors. At the same time, some men have sought easy degrees from these places solely for the purpose of being able to attach the prestige of Dr. before their name. Shame on them. Others who may have an reputable mdiv have pursued Doctoral work at Luther Rice which is probably in between Covington and an accredited Dmin and wear that distinction proudly. Luther Rice has several very high profile graduates among its alumni. There is also the issue of honorary doctorates among which are men like Billy Graham who is commonly addressed as “Dr. Graham.” I am not sure that Billy Graham refers to himself as Dr. Graham though others do.

    As I understand it, the issue is more complex than who is accredited and who is not accredited. As I understand it, Oxford (England) is not accredited by anyone but the PhD’s that it confers stand up to the test of academic scrutiny.

    In summary, calling or allowing ones’ self to be called Dr. when one’s degree is not dishonest in so far as someone somewhere has decided to recognize you as achieved some sort of Doctorate. While not dishonest one is perhaps giving others cause to be embarrassed for them for taking on a title that does not in fact reflect the status of recognized degrees. Perhaps it is akin to wearing a fake Rollex. It gives you status from a distance for a lot less money.

    Tim B

  25. Tim Rogers says:

    Brother Bill

    If you go to sbc.net you will can find the nominating speech. The Pastor’s Conference lists him as “Dr.”

    Bother Tim B,

    Others who may have an reputable mdiv have pursued Doctoral work at Luther Rice which is probably in between Covington and an accredited Dmin and wear that distinction proudly. Have you tried the D-Min program at Luther Rice? Or are you just going on what someone else has told you?

    To All,

    I will say this once again. If Dr. Johnny Hunt desires to allow “Dr” before his name it is his right. He has been given that distinction by others who feel he deserves such. As have stated earlier. If he were promoting these degrees as earned degrees you would have a leg to stand on for your comments. However, he has made it abundantly clear that these degrees are honorary degrees. Oh, one other thing. Dr. Hunt has many “earned doctorates” who work on his staff. It certainly doesn’t seem to bother them that he uses this prefix.

    Blessings,
    Tim

  26. Tim says:

    Tim

    I am not aware of the current status of Luther Rice’s Dmin program but it is a fact in years gone by that neither the criteria for getting into their program nor the work required once in the program is somewhere between a bible institute and any of the SBC seminaries. It is also a fact that Luther Rice is not and never has been a Diploma mill. They do take their mission seriously.

    Tim B

  27. Tim Rogers says:

    To All,

    I honestly believe this issue is taken further than it needs to be taken. I have seen it implied and even alluded to that Dr. Hunt’s integrity is in question for using “Dr” as a prefix for his name. This crosses the line because whether you know him or not, using “Dr” does not call into question the integrity of a person. Dr. Hunt has openly revealed in his bio that these degrees are honorary. To say that he lacks integrity is not even in the ball park. Now, if you want to speak about the politeness of such a move, I would have to concede that point. However, to say that he lacks integrity, just is not right.

    Blessings,
    Tim

  28. I think it’s in error to begrudge Dr. Hunt’s use of the title. This man has been in ministry and in SBC life so long that it is more than equivalent to a degree.

    I’ve been in jobs that for each year worked in a specific field it counts the same as one who has a degree. So let’s move on to more important things.

    Tim: I wrote a thank you on my own blog to you and Dr. McKissic, I think it is terrific that you two worked on this and it was needed. I agree with you in that I think good things will begin to happen in the SBC, I am thankful that the Convention went as it did this year, and Dr. Hunt’s message to the pastors was outstanding, even if a little loud. It showed Dr. Hunt’s passion.

  29. Glenn Jonas says:

    Tim,
    Robert Parham at the Baptist Center for Ethics has a new article on this issue this morning. It can be found at ethicsdaily.com. I think he sums the issue up in his last paragraph:

    “Southern Baptists have a widespread problem with diploma mills that necessitates an institutional response, especially since the denomination has taken such a rigorous stance about doctrinal integrity. What does it say about a body that insists on right doctrine but turns a blind eye to the right educational practices?”

    There is a real integrity concern that should be addressed by Johnny Hunt and those that support him. If you disagree, I understand. But integrity, academic or otherwise, should be an issue that Baptists are concerned about.

    Glenn

  30. Glenn Jonas says:

    Tim,
    There has been a new development this morning in Johnny Hunt’s credentials. It seems that he has gathered another honorary doctorate. His webmaster changed his bio this morning and now, not only does he have honorary doctorates from Covington and Immanuel but now has one from Tennessee Temple. When did this happen? I suppose it was just an earlier oversight that has been corrected in light of all the blogger attention to Hunt’s credentials.

    Tennesses Temple is not a “diploma mill.” It is a school in the style of perhaps Bob Jones University and is vying to become a Tennessee Baptist Convention replacement for Belmont.

    Interesting developments to say the least!

  31. Tim Rogers says:

    Dr. Jonas,

    Now that you have released this information, it seems that about a year ago I read something about this. That was something that did not catch my attention in all of the blogging back and forth. Dr. Danny Lovett, the President of the school, and Dr. Hunt are good friends. I also am aware that Tennessee Temple is one school that Dr. Hunt directs his students. I have a good friend that is a graduate of Tennessee Temple. He certainly can attest to the education standards they hold there.

    Blessings,
    Tim

  32. Glenn Jonas says:

    Thanks Tim. I had thought that it was probably just an oversight that originally got left of his bio. You’re right, Tennessee Temple is a good school, certainly a cut above Covington and Immanuel.

    I enjoy your blog Tim! Keep up the good work! And, I’ve told you for years, call me “Glenn!”

    Peace,
    Glenn

  33. Tim Rogers says:

    Dr. Jonas,

    You will have to stand in line behind Dr. Cogdill. He has been telling me for years to call him “Mike”. I just cannot seem to let myself go in that direction. It has nothing to do with either of you. It is just something about sitting in a classroom and being on campus knowing you are in that position. I just cannot do it. Please understand.

    Blessings,
    Tim