Michael Lewis to be nominated for Pastors’ Conference president
Oct 17, 2012
By JAMES A. SMITH SR.

ORLANDO (FBW)—Michael Lewis, pastor of First Baptist Church in Plant City, will be nominated president-elect of the Florida Baptist Pastors’ Conference next month when the group meets in conjunction with the Florida Baptist State Convention annual meeting in Orlando.

Clayton Cloer, pastor of First Baptist Church of Central Florida in Orlando, will nominate Lewis, Cloer said in an Oct. 1 statement to Florida Baptist Witness

Cloer praised Lewis as a “solid biblical preacher with proven giftedness and ability to lead with excellence” who has “distinguished himself as the outstanding pastor of the First Baptist Church of Plant City where his soul winning heart has led his people to visit over 3,000 homes yielding over 500 baptisms in the last three years.”

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First Baptist Plant City, Cloer said, has “steadily increased their Cooperative Program giving and more than doubled their annual missions’ expenditures. His passion for missions had him leading mission teams to India, Mexico, Africa, Brazil, Greece, Romania, Israel and Guatemala.”

Calling Lewis a “distinguished leader,” Cloer noted his service in various denominational roles, including the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, Florida Baptist Children’s Homes, and Mega Metro Pastors’ Conference.

“Michael is an honorable family man,” Cloer said. Lewis and his wife, Mayra, are parents to three daughters, and “have chosen to be a ‘Caring Family’ through the Florida Baptist Children’s Homes to Joy, a sixteen year-old young lady. This is just another quiet way that Michael and his family live out their Christianity and leave a legacy,” he said.   

“I know Michael’s godly principles, proven leadership and extensive qualifications will serve us well as he presides over our 2014 Pastors’ Conference,” Cloer said. 

Lewis has been pastor of First Baptist Church in Plant City since 2009 and previously pastored churches in Texas, Georgia and South Carolina. He is a graduate of Columbia (S.C.) International University and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C., and has received an honorary doctorate from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary in Lynchburg, Va.

Information from the 2011 Annual Church Profile for First Baptist Church in Plant City lists 156 baptisms and primary worship service attendance of 1,400, with total resident membership of 3,244. The church gave $163,091, or 5.47 percent, through the Cooperative Program from total undesignated receipts of $2,984,751. According to the ACP, the church also received $32,228 for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions and $12,838 for the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American Missions. The congregation gave $18,100 to the Shiloh Baptist Association and $3,047 to the Maguire State Missions Offering, with total missions giving in 2011 of $276,655. 

Lewis is the first announced candidate to lead the 2014 Florida Baptist Pastors’ Conference to be held in Lakeland. The president for the 2013 meeting is Brad White, pastor of LifePoint Church in Tampa, who was elected at the 2011 gathering of the group.

Cloer and Tim Maynard, pastor of Fruit Cove Baptist Church in Jacksonville, will be nominated FBSC president, the Witness has previously reported.

The 2012 Pastors’ Conference meeting is Nov. 11-12 at First Baptist Church in Orlando. Stephen Rummage, pastor of Bell Shoals Baptist Church in Brandon, is president of the group this year.

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