Name: Jack Graham
Why you’ve heard of him: Graham previously served two terms as president of the Southern Baptist Convention and has been pastor of one of the largest churches in America since 1989.
Previous: In addition to serving two terms as SBC president from 2002-2004, Graham has been in the pastorate since 1970. He pastored churches in Texas, Oklahoma and Florida before coming to Prestonwood.
Books: He is the author of numerous books, including Life According to Jesus, Are You Fit for Life?, Powering Up and Courageous Parenting, co-authored with his wife, Deb, based on their experiences as parents.
Why he’s important: As he began life in the ministry, Graham was confronted with the death of his father, who had been brutally beaten in a senseless act of violence. Rather than causing him to reject God, Graham turned to the Lord for guidance in his life and ministry.
After almost 20 years as a pastor, Graham was called to Prestonwood in the aftermath of their founding pastor leaving due to a scandal. Over the next few decades, the church grew from 8,000 members to over 32,000 with multiple campuses around Dallas, Texas. In 2013, the church was listed as the 21st largest in America, by Outreach Magazine and LifeWay Research.
Graham served two terms as SBC president. He also served as president of the SBC Pastors Conference, which takes place before the annual convention. In addition, broadcasts of his PowerPoint Ministries, which was founded in 1994, can be seen or heard by millions of television viewers and radio listeners across the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa, Iraq, Israel and more.
“The greatest cause on earth is the mission of the local church proclaiming the Gospel to our neighbors and the nations.”
“Many Christians have stepped out of the tomb, but are still bound by their death clothes of sin. But in Christ, you have the ability to shed the clothes of death and put on new clothes of life.”
“Jesus began His ministry with just 12 humble men. So don’t let the size of your church or group discourage you from making a big difference for Christ.”
“What I love about Southern Baptists is that it is a local church movement. It’s not a top-down hierarchical movement.”
“To me, one of the joys of my life is to be connected and to leverage those friendships we have with one another to encourage each other. Everyone needs encouragers and mentors, and connectors too.”
Others in the “Know Your Southern Baptists” Series: