LOUISVILLE, Ky. (KT) – Forest Hills Pastor Nate Bishop Jr. will be nominated for first vice president in Tuesday’s Kentucky Baptist Convention annual meeting.
“Nate is a passionate young leader who loves Jesus and has deep roots in Southern Baptist life,” said Todd Robertson, director of missions in the Louisville Regional Baptist Association, who will make the nomination.
Bishop now is one of two announced nominees for first vice president who will be presented to messengers at the annual meeting, which will be held at Highview Baptist Church’s east campus in Louisville. Loyall First Baptist Church Pastor Bob Whitter also will be nominated by Green Valley Baptist Association Director of Missions Bill Patterson.
Zion’s Cause Baptist Church Pastor Charles Frazier of Benton, who has been involved in KBC leadership for more than two decades, will be seeking the presidency of the Kentucky Baptist Convention. And Little River Baptist Association Director of Missions Paxton Redd will be nominated for second vice president.
Bishop, whose historic African-American church recently began an English as a second language program, is the latest nominee to be announced.
“Nate has served in the gospel ministry for almost 20 years, having been mentored by his father, Rev. Nathaniel Bishop, Sr. who has pastored and now serves as an associational missionary in Detroit, Mich.,” Robertson said. “Nate, in his role as senior pastor, has quickly led Forest Baptist Church to engage more deeply in both the Kentucky Baptist Convention and the Louisville Regional Baptist Association, both in giving and participation.”
Bishop is a member of the Crossings Ministries’ board of directors and the Louisville chapter of Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
“I believe that Nate will bring fresh eyes and great Kingdom vigor to the leadership of the Kentucky Baptist Convention and the Mission Board,” Robertson said. “His commitment to his family, church, neighborhood and city are clear. His heart for partnership in the gospel through the SBC, KBC, and LRBA is strong and growing. Frankly, Nate is exactly the kind of young leader that we need for such a time as this, and I am blessed to present him to you for your consideration.”
Bishop is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he also served as a programmer for campus technology and eventually director of technology.
Bishop has been a longtime member of the Southern Baptist Convention since making a profession faith at the age of seven and entering into fellowship with Middlebelt Baptist Church, in Inkster, Mich. While in Michigan, Nate served as youth pastor for his local church as well as youth director and council member for the Greater Detroit Baptist Association. He has been in gospel ministry for almost twenty years.
Bishop and his wife of 14 years, Dar-Isha Bishop, have four children ages six through 11.
Tom James, lead pastor of Eastwood Baptist Church in Bowling Green and a former Kentucky Baptist Convention president, said he intends to nominate Frazier for the presidency.
“I believe he has proven he has the skills and vision to lead Kentucky Baptists,” James said of Frazier.
Frazier has been pastor at Zion’s Cause in Benton for the past 12 ½ years. He received his bachelor’s degree in biblical studies from Mid-Continent University and master of divinity and doctor of ministry degrees from the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Ministry at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville.
“When Charles came to be pastor of Zion’s Cause, they were averaging 140 in Sunday morning worship, and today they have Sunday morning services averaging 350 in attendance,” James said. “In 2009 Zion’s Cause was recognized by the North American Mission Board as being one of the fastest growing churches in Kentucky and was in the top 600 fastest growing in the SBC.”
During Frazier’s tenure as pastor, Zion’s Cause has doubled its giving to the Cooperative Program to 8 percent of undesignated receipts. The Cooperative Program, widely described as “the greatest evangelistic initiative of our time,” allows Kentucky Baptist churches to work cooperatively to cover the cost of sending missionaries throughout the world to proclaim the gospel.
James said Frazier is “a visionary” who believes in what he calls a “Big Tent” convention.
“He believes Kentucky Baptists should have a passionate emphasis on evangelism. He is concerned about the fact that, as the commonwealth has continued to grow, our salvation and baptism numbers across the state have dropped.”
Whitter is a strong proponent of adoption and foster care. He and his wife, Rhonda, adopted five special needs children over the years and have been foster parents for several others.
Whitter also is a strident cheerleader for Sunrise Children’s Services, the orphan-care arm of the Kentucky Baptist Convention.
Since becoming pastor of First Baptist Church in Loyall two years ago, Whitter has baptized 40 people, according to Green Valley Baptist Association Director of Missions Bill Patterson who plans to make the nomination.
Patterson said Whitter has a “love for the Lord, love for evangelism, love for missions and love for children.”
“He is the kind of man whose service deserves a leadership role among Kentucky Baptists,” Patterson said.
Before moving to Loyall, Whitter was pastor at Advance Baptist in Henderson County for six years, during which time the church was recognized as one of the leading Kentucky Baptist Convention churches in baptisms among small congregations. He also served as pastor in the Ohio River town of Ghent and in the Cincinnati area.
Patterson said the Loyall church gives about 10 percent through the Cooperative program.
Whitter received his undergraduate degree from Clear Creek Baptist Bible College and a master of divinity degree from Liberty University.
Redd, who has been director of missions for the past year, said he wants to serve Kentucky Baptists because they have done so much for him.
“At only age 30, he is easily one of our youngest men to serve in this field, and he has already distinguished himself as a man of character and wisdom,” said Pastor Kyle Noffsinger of Cadiz Baptist Church.
Reed previously served six years as pastor of Oak Grove Baptist Church, which is one of Kentucky’s top churches in terms of missions participation.
Twelve Oaks Baptist Church Pastor Brandt Lyon will be nominated for president-elect of the KBC Pastor’s Conference, an annual get-together of Kentucky church leaders.
If elected, Lyon would serve one year as president-elect alongside President Travis Farris, an Owensboro pastor, before moving into the presidency in 2019.
The KBC Pastors' Conference is held each year on the day before the Kentucky Baptist Convention’s annual meeting.