“It’s a very humbling experience to know that people in the convention — our churches, our pastors and leaders — would feel that I could lead the convention in this way,” Hattaway said. “So I would say, [I am humbled] and I’m excited about the possibility of using that opportunity to impact the state at large.
“[My role] will involve a number of things. One is the oversight of certain committees within the convention structure and also the planning of the yearly convention and the inspirational meeting that occurs prior to the convention. I will preside at the convention and have the opportunity to preach at the convention.”
Among his duties, Hattaway said he is most looking forward to visiting churches belonging to the cooperative ministry and missions organization. Encompassing more than 3,500 Baptist churches across the state, the convention features 45 Bartow congregations.
“The one thing I’m most excited about is the opportunity to go around and meet pastors and speak around the state and emphasize certain things that I think are critical to not only our convention but to the church at large,” Hattaway said. “I would say the greatest need today among Christians is to have a genuine revival. There’s a great need for God’s people to humble themselves before the Lord, to repent of their sins and get right with God so that we can impact the world.
“Until we do that, we’re not going to be able to have the type of spiritual awakening I think the nation needs to get back on track. Certainly our nation I think is in trouble. I think most people would say that. Morally we’re in a spiral and people are wondering what do we do. What I’m hoping to do is to encourage our pastors and leaders and just the average church member, the average Christian, to humble ourselves before the Lord and pray, seek his face, turn from our sins and then we can see God move in our hearts and therefore we can impact our communities. If that doesn’t happen, then I think that we have some very dark days ahead of us as a nation.”
Describing Hattaway as a “man of integrity and humility,” David Franklin — associational missionary for Bartow Baptist Association — is excited about the Tabernacle senior pastor’s new role.
“There’s 3,700 churches in the Georgia Baptist Convention — Southern Baptist churches,” Franklin said. “So that makes that the largest Protestant denomination in the state of Georgia. [So it] is a pretty big deal to have someone from Bartow County [elected president]. The reason he [was] elected is because he’s known to be a man of integrity and humility.
“... I think one of the best things about him is he will be himself. He won’t try to be something he’s not. I think that’s one of the reasons that people elected him, because they trust him and they think he is a fair and honest man. He’s not a man given to politics. He will stick to what he knows is right. He’s just known across the state of Georgia as that kind of guy.”