ATLANTA (BP)—If Southern Baptist Convention annual meetings were tallied like college or NBA basketball games, Barry McCarty would be the leader in minutes played. In the course of 29 annual meetings, no one has had more platform time in the SBC’s annual sessions than the well-known chief parliamentarian.

The Atlanta native—who became a Southern Baptist on Sun., Aug. 16, and is joining the faculty of Southwestern Seminary, has logged some 540 hours on the platform. But that is only a small part of what the convention parliamentarian actually does. McCarty customarily spends a significant amount of time with the SBC presidents in preparation for the convention business sessions.

McCarty has now served under 16 SBC presidents, beginning in 1986 with Charles Stanley, pastor of Atlanta, First. His parliamentary expertise has been invaluable in helping convention leaders navigate through some rather stormy business sessions, particularly during the Conservative Resurgence.

McCarty also is a preacher, teacher, pastor and educator. He holds a Ph.D. in rhetoric and argumentation from the University of Pittsburgh, has served as president of Cincinnati Christian University and until recently was senior pastor of Peachtree Christian Church in Atlanta.

McCarty cited three primary reasons for his decision to become a Southern Baptist.

“First,” he noted, “while Southern Baptists are not a creedal people, they are a confessional people. And at this point in history the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 is the best statement of faith I know of. Second, right now no one is speaking to our culture on the great moral issues with as much clarity or biblical integrity as Southern Baptists. Third, at this point in history no one is doing more to penetrate lostness around the world than Southern Baptists.”

On Aug. 16, McCarty and his wife, Pat, were baptized and welcomed into the membership of Albany, Ga., Sherwood because of their friendship with pastor Michael Catt, the influence of Sherwood’s Refresh Conferences, and the prayers the church has lifted to God on their behalf.