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Southern Baptist Convention messengers elected Paige Patterson as president by acclamation during the June 9 afternoon session in Salt Lake City. He was unopposed for the presidency.
Patterson, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, N.C., since 1992, is generally regarded as one of the architects of the conservative resurgence in the SBC which began in 1979.
Patterson, 55, succeeds Tom Elliff, pastor of First Baptist Church, Del City, Okla., who concluded two one-year terms at this year's annual meeting.
A native Texan, Patterson is the first seminary president to serve as SBC president since L.R. Scarborough, president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Texas, in 1939-40.
In nominating Patterson, James Merritt, pastor of First Baptist Church, Snellville, Ga., called him a "proven leader and a champion of the cause of Christ."
Merritt also cited Patterson as a man of courage. "Be...