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Tennessee Baptists elect former Arkansas pastor Bruce Chesser as convention president

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Former Arkansas Baptist pastor Bruce Chesser has been elected president of the Tennessee Baptist Convention (TBC).

A former pastor in Arkansas, Alabama and Texas, Chesser has served as pastor of First Baptist, Hendersonville for the past 10 years.


Chesser was elected without opposition Nov. 19 during the afternoon session of the 145th annual meeting of the TBC. He was nominated by Bruce Raley, executive pastor of First Baptist Church, Hendersonville.


Raley described Chesser as a pastor/shepherd and an “anointed preacher and teacher of the gospel. He has a passion to see people come to Jesus and to grow in Christ.”


First Baptist, Hendersonville, is a strong supporter of convention causes. In 2018, the church ranked fifth among Tennessee Baptist churches in total gifts through the Cooperative Program with $369,603 (approximately 3.4 percent of undesignated gifts). First Baptist also ranked eighth in the TBC in number of baptisms with 178 in 2018.


Chesser earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Mobile, Ala., and a master’s and doctorate in ministry from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.


According to the First Baptist Church Hendersonville’s website, he met his wife Joy in college and the pair married in 1978. They have two sons, Justin and Travis.


The Chessers have served the following churches: First Baptist, Spearman, Texas; First Baptist, Opp, Ala.; Fayette First Baptist, Fayette, Ala.; Calvary Baptist, Tuscaloosa, Ala.; Geyer Springs First Baptist, Little Rock; and First Baptist Church of Hendersonville since August 2009.


Bruce enjoys all sports, especially involving the University of Alabama. He is also a fan of the Tennessee Titans and the Nashville Predators.


Information from this article is from Baptist & Reflector, the official news journal of the Tennessee Baptist Convention, and the Andalusia (Ala.) Star-News.



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