Gramling to be Southern Baptist Pastors’ Conference nominee

Troy Gramling, lead pastor of Flamingo Road Church in Cooper City, Fla., will be nominated for president of the Southern Baptist Pastors’ Conference during its June meeting in Orlando, John Cross, pastor of South Biscayne Church in North Port, Fla., announced March 18.

Cross told the Florida Baptist Witness he will nominate Gramling because he embodies the Great Commission Resurgence “we’re praying and believing God for … in our churches and convention.”

“Who better to help lead this movement than Troy Gramling, who by God’s grace, has been used of God to lead such a movement in the church he serves as pastor?” said Cross, who is serving in his second year as president of the Florida Baptist State Convention. “I believe Troy would serve us well in helping inspire, equip and encourage pastors, of all sizes and styles of churches, become more effective in fulfilling Christ’s mission for His church.”

Gramling is the first announced nominee to lead the Pastors’ Conference, which meets two days prior to the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention. If elected, Gramling would lead the 2011 Pastors’ Conference in Phoenix.

Cross said Gramling has consented to be nominated after “months of praying and seeking wise counsel.”

Calling him an “anointed, visionary, creative leader and preacher of God’s Word,” Cross said Gramling has been “used of God as both a missional church planter in Arkansas and in leading an existing church to becoming missional.”

According to Cross, Gramling’s church has “grown from 2,000 to over 11,000 attendees” under his leadership, which began in 2002 as lead pastor.

Flamingo Road has led the Florida Baptist State Convention in baptisms during the last four years, with 1,535 in 2009, according to the Florida Baptist Convention. The church ranked fifth in baptisms in the Southern Baptist Convention in 2008, according to LifeWay Christian Resources.

“The vast majority of Flamingo Road Church’s growth has been through conversion growth versus transfer growth,” Cross said, noting the church is not in the Bible Belt.

“Flamingo Road Church has a diverse church magnetism that is multi-cultural, multi-ethnic and multi-generational,” Cross added.

“I believe Troy’s leadership for our pastors would be a huge encouragement,” Cross said. “He understands the issues pastors face from our smaller rural areas to our metropolitan cities. His passion for evangelism is contagious. He loves pastors and desires to do all he can to help them reach their God-given potential.”

According to the church Web site, Flamingo Road exists in six campuses: Cooper City, Doral and Hallandale Beach (all three in South Florida); Pensacola; Lima, Peru; and an Internet-based campus.

The church Web site, notes Gramling, is “well known for (its) extreme creativity in designing unexpected worship experiences,” citing such examples as “MyNakedPastor.com,” “ivescrewedup.com” and “The Bed.”

“Today, Flamingo Road Church is running after an ambitious goal, called “50, 100, 150″: 50 campuses, 100,000 in attendance and a $150 million budget,” the website reports.

Information from the 2009 Annual Church Profile for Flamingo Road lists 1,535 baptisms, and a primary worship service attendance of 10,000, with 8,200 resident members.

Before he was called in 2000 to Flamingo Road as a young adult pastor, Gramling was lead pastor of Southside Church in Paragould, Ark., a church plant he started in 1992.

A native of Adrian, Mich., Gramling holds a bachelor’s degree from Arkansas State University. Gramling and his wife, Stephanie, have three children.

James A. Smith Sr. is executive editor of the Florida Baptist Witness (www.gofbw.com), Newsjournal of the Florida Baptist State Convention.

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