Fayetteville Pastor Josh Saefkow elected President of the Georgia Baptist Convention

President-elect Josh Saefkow departs the stage after his election as president was announced by outgoing President Kevin Williams (right) at the 200th Annual Georgia Baptist Convention in Augusta, Georgia, Tuesday, November 15, 2022.  Photo/Index/Henry Durand.
President-elect Josh Saefkow departs the stage after his election as president was announced by outgoing President Kevin Williams (right) at the 200th Annual Georgia Baptist Convention in Augusta, Georgia, Tuesday, November 15, 2022. Photo/Index/Henry Durand.

From ROGER ALFORD, The Christian Index


AUGUSTA, Ga. – Georgia Baptists elected Fayetteville Pastor Josh Saefkow as their president at an annual meeting in Augusta on November 15.

Saefkow, a respected denomination leader who has served in numerous capacities in the Georgia Baptist Convention, was elected unanimously.

“I want to continue on the foundation that was laid here in this meeting and build on the unity that we have seen,” Saefkow said. “I think that’s what made this convention so special. We have remembered what we are for – prayer, ministry of the word, evangelism, discipleship, mission.”

In addition to his pastoral responsibilities at Flat Creek Baptist Church, Saefkow is a past vice president of the Georgia Baptist Convention and chair of the Georgia Baptist Executive Committee.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to take the mantle,” he said. “It’s humiliating. The whole process was humbling.”

Buford First Baptist Church senior pastor Stephen Fountain, who appointed Saefkow as president, described him as a devoted husband, loving father, passionate pastor and dynamic preacher.

“In recent years I have become more and more convinced that the men most needed in positions of leadership during our Congress are the men least ambitious to attain that leadership,” Fountain told the Index, when he originally announced his intention to nominate Saefkow.

“His calm demeanor, humble spirit, quiet strength, and unifying presence are what Georgia Baptists need today,” he said.

Saefkow, 38, said he will be a champion of unity.

“I want to bring Georgia Baptists together to help ignite the flame of the gospel of Jesus to bring more Georgians to Christ,” he told the Index. “This is a unique time of tension. We’ve argued long enough. I want us to come together for the cause of Christ.”

Saefkow, who became a believer at age 12, holds bachelor’s and two master’s degrees from Liberty University and a doctorate from Gateway Seminary of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Saefkow’s church gives 10 percent of all proceeds, not just unrestricted proceeds, through the cooperative program. Last year that was nearly $188,000.

His church has had 62 baptisms so far this year.

Saefkow said he wants to use the presidency to fan the flames of evangelism across the state.

“I believe we can bring the gospel to our cities,” he said. “I’m very optimistic about the Georgia Baptists. I think our greatest days are ahead of us and not behind us.”

Saefkow, who was an associate pastor at Abilene Baptist Church in Augusta before moving to Fayetteville, told the Index earlier this year that a simple four-word prayer transformed his ministry: “Lord, make me useful.”

David Wheeler, a professor of evangelism at Liberty University’s Baptist Theological Seminary, said he was not surprised that Saefkow had risen to senior positions in Congress.

“It’s just Josh,” Wheeler said. “That’s him. I could see that for a long time. He is the epitome of a pastor/evangelist. He loves people and you don’t have to be with him long to know he loves Jesus.”

Saefkow and his wife, Kelsie, a nurse in Fayetteville, have two daughters, Chloe, 11, and Sophie, 9, both of whom are Christ followers. – This article appeared in the November 21, 2022 issue of The Christian Index, a Georgia Baptist publication, and is used with their permission.

Georgia Baptist Convention President-elect Josh Saefkow poses with his wife Kelsie at the conclusion of the GBC’s 200th Annual Convention in Augusta, Georgia, Tuesday, November 15, 2022. Photo/Index/Henry Durand.

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