SBC president Gaines picks & grins with country music artist Ricky Skaggs

by Joni B. Hannigan, Editorial Staff |

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (Christian Examiner) – Grinning, as much as he was "picking" with country music great Ricky Skaggs, Steve Gaines, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, showcased his talent on the guitar in a YouTube video he tweeted out Monday night.

"Enjoyed picking & grinning tonight with Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder & @bellevuememphis staff," said the newly elected president from his @bellevuepastor twitter account.

In other tweets, Gaines referenced a staff retreat at Bellevue Baptist Church where he serves as senior pastor, as the location of the musical fun.

Gaines, 59, was elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention June 15 at the annual meeting in St. Louis.

This isn't the first time Skaggs has appeared with an SBC president. In 2005 he was invited by SBC president Bobby Welch to blow a shofar, or ram's horn, at the SBC annual meeting in Nashville to usher in a one-year emphasis on evangelism. At the end of Crossover that year Skaggs and his band also performed in concert.

Texas pastor Bart Barber @bartbarber, commenting on Twitter, told Gaines today his "morning has been ruined by jealously."

Gaines, not missing a beat, replied: "We had a great time, Bart. Didn't know you were a bluegrass man."

Barber quipped: "I own a mandolin, a guitar, and a banjo. I will not commit publicly to what I can or cannot do with them."

Some others expressed their appreciation via social media.

Author Eric Geiger @EricGeiger told Gaines: "[W]ow – you're the man!" Robby Gallaty @Rgallaty, a senior pastor, commented: "Awesome. You're ready for the tour!"

Barry McCarty, a professor at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, told Christian Examiner he is not surprised by Gaines' talent, nor the response he has received thus far.

"Well, he is after all, president of the "Southern" Baptist Convention," McCarty said. "I think it has made folks from all over the country smile."