James Merritt

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Dr. James Merritt, born December 22, 1952, is a U.S. religious leader and President of the Southern Baptist Convention from 2000-2002.James Merritt is the son of Glen and Miriam Merritt. After graduating from South Hall High School in Hall County, Georgia, Merritt attended Stetson University where he graduated with a degree in accounting. Soon after he married his wife, Teresa, the couple moved to Louisville, Kentucky, where Merritt attended the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

After graduating with a Master of Divinity degree and a PhD, Merritt pastored Highland Baptist Church in Laurel, Mississippi for three years, and then relocated to Snellville, Georgia to pastor the First Baptist Church of Snellville. During his tenure, the congregation grew from 500 to over 13,000 members.

In 2000, James Merritt was elected President of the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest evangelical denomination in the world, as which he served two terms. During his terms as the first baby boomer SBC President, he met with President George W. Bush on several occasions at the White House, and travelled to every corner of the world to work with SBC missionaries. During this time, Merritt also appeared on numerous media programs such as FoxNews' Hannity and Colmes, Fox News Sunday, MSNBC's Scarborough Country, 60 Minutes and others.

Dr. Merritt has served on the Board of Trustees at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, for many years at the request of his friend, Jerry Falwell. An avid...
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