LOUISVILLE – Severns Valley Baptist Church Senior Pastor Bill Langley, a champion of the Cooperative Program, remains the only announced candidate for the presidency of Kentucky’s largest religious organization.
“I am incredibly burdened by what I observe on the national landscape,” he told Kentucky Today. “Tides are turning; momentum is shifting; and it seems as though our nation is, literally, sprinting away from God.”
Messengers to the 750,000-member Kentucky Baptist Convention will meet at Florence Baptist Church to elect the next president, a voluntary, unpaid position that carries with it the responsibility of appointing chairpersons of KBC committees and leading KBC Mission Board meetings.
Langley said his primary goal as president would be to encourage Kentucky congregations to concentrate on evangelism and discipleship in a time of great challenges and great opportunities.
“This is not a time to ‘hold the fort,’” he said. “This is a time to advance and enlarge the kingdom.”
During Langley’s seven years as senior pastor at Severns Valley, more than 500 new believers have been baptized. He also has been a steadfast supporter and advocate of the Cooperative Program.
Severns Valley has given more than $2.1 million through the Cooperative Program since Langley became pastor, and more than $11.6 million dating back to 1928. No church in Kentucky has given more through CP.
“I am a strong advocate of the Cooperative Program for a very pragmatic reason: We can do much more together than we can do by ourselves,” Langley said.
Dan Summerlin, pastor of Lone Oak Baptist Church in Paducah and a past KBC president, said he plans to nominate Langley at the annual meeting.
“We have witnessed his dedication to the KBC for years as he helped in many ways throughout our convention,” Summerlin said. “From serving on various committees to hosting many KBC events, we have profited from his servant’s heart and his leadership skills.”
After receiving his bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Kentucky, Langley went on to earn a master’s of divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas, and a doctorate in biblical studies from Louisiana Baptist University.
Langley said he will do all he can to help educate pastors and church leaders about what can be done to fortify the biblical stands their churches take, and, in so doing, endeavor to help them to engage the culture in the fullness of grace and truth.
“Our nation is in a moral free-fall,” he said. “We are seeing conservative, Bible-believing Christians and churches under attack like never before.”
Langley, a strong sanctity of life advocate, has encouraged Severns Valley to maintain a committed, ongoing relationship with an Elizabethtown-area crisis pregnancy center. Members of his church volunteer with the center and work to raise awareness and funding for the ministry.
“Whether it relates to the unborn or the elderly, I will sound the clarion call, challenging people to ‘choose life,’” he said.