By Hannah Caver, The Trussville Tribune

First Baptist Church of Trussville pastor Buddy Champion was elected president of the Alabama Baptist Convention. The election took place at the convention at Whitesburg Baptist Church in Huntsville on Wednesday.

Champion is a father of four, and husband to Lynn for over 30 years. He enjoys the outdoors, Auburn football, being with his family, and serving in his church.

Champion joined the First Baptist Trussville family from First Baptist Decatur in August of 2006. He attended college at Samford University and postgrad at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Under Champion’s leadership, First Baptist Church Trussville has more than 5,000 active resident members and 6,291 on the total membership roll.

Blake Kersey nominated Champion for the election and described Champion as “humble, meek, and servant led,” and also the “Nick Saban of Alabama Baptist.”

“The pastor who faithfully serves the Lord by feeding his flock God’s word and caring for them individually,” Kersey said. “I can think of no greater example of faithful servant leadership in our state than Buddy Champion. Buddy is the most authentic, genuine, pastor, leader, and follower of Jesus that I have ever had the privilege to serve under.”

The Alabama Baptist State Convention State Convention includes more than 3,200 churches with approximately one million members. Each November, the Alabama Baptist State Convention convenes as a two-day meeting of messengers elected by affiliated churches.

Champion said he received a message from his wife when he was elected president that was hashtagged “to whom much is given much is required.”

“I pray that I live up to what is required to represent you well and represent our Lord,” Champion said.

Tim Cox gaveled out the 198th session of the Alabama Baptist State Convention as president and passed the president’s gavel along to Champion. Cox said he was glad to pass along the gavel to Champion.

“Buddy, I hand off to you and I know you will lead well, as you have already done,” Cox said.

Morgan Bailey, pastor of Macedonia Baptist Church in Ranburne, was elected first vice president. Jarman Leatherwood, founding pastor of House of Hope and Restoration in Huntsville, was elected second vice president.