Meet Your President [handwritten] First meeting with Executive Committee after election as president of the Southern Baptist Convention. June 19, 1957 Nashville, Tenn. [handwritten] Mr. Chairman, first I want to express my profound gratitude for the great honor my fellow Baptists have given me. I have been elected to Congress eight times but none of those elections brought either the excitement or the surprise produced by the Chicago Convention action. The Committee lists this part of the program "Meet your president." You are doubtless wondering just what kind of fellow the messengers voted into office. You are entitled to know a little more about me. Even the youngest among you have probably attended more conventions than I have. I am awfully new at this kind of job and I need your help. Most of you are ministers, and I particularly appeal to you. I was asked once by a preacher friend, "What is your work in Congress like?" 1 told him that it resembles the ministers'. It has pastoral and prophetic aspects. A mother wants to know about her son in the army, or Dad wants him discharged to help make a crop. Some menial service, some footwork, going down to the Departments, is a routine matter. I am a pastor looking after my flock. Then sometimes I assume the role of the prophet. Whether 1 fill that role well is a question, but I attempt it now and then. Whether pastor or prophet, whether in the role of servant or instructor, your work resembles mine. I judge from the invitations I get that you intend to make me pay for this honor. It reminds me of the Ozark mountaineer who told his friend in Russellville about their church troubles. I hasten to add that it was before the moral tone of the church in that area became as high as today. "That good for nothing trifling preacher of ours run off with $200 of the church's money." "Did you catch him?" "Yep, we got him. He was on his way to Little Rock but we brought him back."