Thursday, November 15, 2007

3 Former SBC Presidents Endorse Huckabee

From a 11/12/07 Baptist Press article:
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--Three former Southern Baptist Convention presidents announced their support for Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee Nov. 9, capping a week that saw several contenders receive endorsements from various social conservatives.

James (Jimmy) T. Draper Jr., Jack Graham and Jerry Vines all said they were supporting Huckabee, a fellow Southern Baptist and former president of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention. Draper and Vines served as president of the SBC during the 1980s and played key roles in returning the denomination to its orthodox roots. Graham served as president of the SBC from 2003-05.

Each man's endorsement came as a private citizen.

"Mike Huckabee is clearly the most articulate spokesman for conservative values in today's political arena," Graham was quoted as saying in a release from the Huckabee campaign. "He is a wise and proven leader. He is a man who lives and governs by principal and is, in my view, uniquely prepared to lead our nation."

Said Draper, "I support Mike Huckabee for President because I have known him for over 30 years and know him to be a man of absolute integrity and sterling character. He has the strength of convictions that will enable him to be a great leader."

Said Vines, "Having known Governor Mike Huckabee for 30 years and observed his character, convictions and courage in public life, I wholeheartedly endorse him in his bid to become President of the United States."

Graham serves as pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas. Draper is the immediate past president of LifeWay Christian Resources. Vines is pastor emeritus of First Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Fla.

Jay Strack of Student Leadership University and Billy McCormack, one of the early leaders for the Christian Coalition when it was founded, also announced their support for Huckabee. McCormack currently is pastor of University Baptist Church in Shreveport, La.

But they weren't the only endorsements for Huckabee. One of the bigger catches of the week for the campaign was American Family Association founder Don Wildmon, who said that while he does not agree with the former Arkansas governor on "100 percent" of the issues, Huckabee nevertheless "shares our values" and "has the skills to bring us together."

Additionally, Liberty Counsel founder Mathew Staver and Charisma magazine founder Stephen Strang announced they were endorsing Huckabee.

As previously reported in Baptist Press, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary President Daniel Akin also is backing Huckabee.