Delegates to the 2014 National Baptist Convention of America International, Inc. (NBCA) have elected a Lake Charles, LA native, Pastor Samuel C. Tolbert, Jr. as the 15th President of the convention.
In 1987, another Louisianan Dr. E. Edward Jones, was elected president of the NBCA, the second largest African American Baptist denomination in the nation. Jones, pastor emeritus of Galilee Baptist Church in Shreveport, was pastor of Galilee at the time, as well as a nationally-known civil rights activist.
Tolbert’s plans include reaching out to active, inactive and former members with a message and movement of renewal, reconciliation and revitalization. Tolbert was elected to serve a five year term.
An officer of the NBCA, Tolbert most recently served as 1st vice president of the group. From September 2003 to February 2012, he served as the NBCA General Secretary. Tolbert officially kicked his campaign off on May 3, 2013 after spending time in prayer and consideration of running for the NBCA presidency.
Other candidates vying for the top spot included incumbent president, Rev. Stephen J. Thurston, Sr. of Chicago, IL and fourth Vice President, Rev. George Brooks, Sr. of Nashville, TN.
Thurston is pastor of New Covenant Baptist Church of Chicago and Brooks is pastor of St. James Baptist Church of Nashville, TN.
Tolbert, 55, has served as pastor of Greater St. Mary Missionary Baptist Church of Lake Charles, LA for 30 years. He has led the Louisiana Home and Foreign Missions State Convention as president since August 2005.
In addition to Shreveport’s Dr. E.Edward Jones, Tolbert’s mentors include mentors his pastor, the late Rev. Dr. R. B. House, the late Rev. Carlton Nelson Frank, the late Rev. Harvey Lawson, the late Dr. Benjamin J. Maxon and the late Rev. Dr. V. E. Washington.
Tolbert holds a BA Degree in Religion and Philosophy from Bishop College, Dallas, TX; a Masters of Divinity Degree from Payne Theological Seminary, Wilberforce, OH; and is currently pursuing his Doctor of Ministry Degree at Stephen Olford Center at Union University, Memphis, TN.
Tolbert had broad support from pastors and churches across the nation and is credited with being a strategic thinker, organizer and planner. A former Lake Charles City Councilman, Tolbert is a member of multiple boards including the Southern University Board of Supervisors of Louisiana.
He is married to the former Matilda Edwards and is the father of two girls, Candace Latrice and Kayla Monique.