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David E. Hankins was born the second son of Herbert and Holly Hankins in Alameda, California on June 9, 1950. His family moved back to Texas soon after his birth and David grew up in Dallas County attending local public schools. He has three brothers and one sister. His father is deceased and his mother is retired.
After graduating Mesquite High School, Mesquite, Texas, David attended Dallas Baptist University where he earned the BA degree in Religion in 1972. He continued his education for ministry at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary earning the MDiv degree in 1976 and PhD in 1981. The masters program was a broad based theological education including Hebrew and Greek with the addition of basic Clinical Pastoral Education at Baylor University Medical Center in 1976.
David was exposed to the teaching of Christ all of his life. His father was a Baptist deacon. His late maternal grandfather was a Baptist pastor for over sixty years. In 1963, David received Christ as his personal savior and was baptized into a Southern Baptist Church. At the age of seventeen, he responded to a call from God and publicly committed his life to the gospel ministry. David was licensed to preach soon thereafter and was ordained on September 20, 1970.
On January 4, 1969, David was married to the former Patricia Ann Thorpe. They now have three grown sons and 11 grandchildren. Patty is a cum laude graduate of Dallas Baptist University (BS in Nursing, 1982), a Registered Nurse by training, and served as Women’s Ministry Coordinator at Two Rivers Baptist Church in Nashville, Tennessee (2000-2003). She leads women’s ministry conferences around the country.
David’s first pastorate was the Grove Temple Baptist Church in Dallas from 1971-1976. He then assumed the pastorate of the Oak Crest Baptist Church, Dallas until he was called to the First Baptist Church of Commerce, Texas in 1979.
After serving there for six years, David was called to Trinity Baptist Church, Lake Charles, Louisiana in March of 1985 where he served until December 1995. Trinity grew from 2500 to nearly 3500 members and saw over 900 persons baptized during Dr. Hankins’ tenure. Hankins ministered to the Southwest Louisiana region through a weekly television broadcast, professional businesspersons luncheon, moral and civic endeavors, and frequent evangelistic events.
On January 1, 1996, Dr. Hankins became the Vice President for Convention Policy of the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention office in Nashville, Tennessee where he has worked with the Implementation Task Force in guiding the process of restructuring the Convention according to the design in “Covenant for a New Century.” This plan was adopted in 1995 and was intended to prepare the ministries of Southern Baptists for the 21st century.
On April 1, 1998, Dr. Hankins became Vice President for Cooperative Program. In this position he gave direction to the development and promotion of Cooperative Program ministries and giving for Southern Baptist churches, state conventions, and the Southern Baptist Convention.
On October 28, 2004, Dr. Hankins was unanimously elected Executive Director of the Executive Board of the Louisiana Baptist Convention, effective February 1, 2005.
Further professional experience has included leading Bible studies, preaching revivals, interim pastorates, and frequent speaking engagements to groups such as Baptist Collegiate Ministries, WMU Conferences, Associational Meetings, Evangelism Conferences, Civic Clubs, Pastors’ Conferences, and chapel services.
Dr. Hankins has served as interim pastor at Bellevue Baptist Church, Owensboro, Kentucky, July 1997 – January 1998, First Baptist Church, Owensboro, Kentucky, July 1998 – January 1999, Zion Baptist Church, Henderson, Kentucky, February 1999 – May 2000, First Baptist Church, Henderson, Kentucky, July 2000 – June 2002, Westwood Baptist Church, Cleveland, Tennessee, February 2003 – November 2003, and Eastwood Baptist Church, Bowling Green, Kentucky, February 2004 – October 2004.
Dr. Hankins has written numerous articles for SBC publications and recently co-authored with Dr. Chad Brand the book One Sacred Effort: The Cooperative Program of Southern Baptists (Broadman and Holman, 2005) and wrote an account of Southern Baptist ministry following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita entitled When Saints Go Marching In (Convention Press, 2006).
David has always been active in denominational life during his ministry. In Dallas, he served on Family Life Committee. After moving to Commerce, he served as moderator of the Hunt Baptist Association from 1980-1982. He also served Hunt Association as Evangelism Director, Chairman, Personnel Committee, and Chairman, Christian Life Committee. Dr. Hankins was on the Executive Board, Baptist General Convention of Texas and Board of Directors, Dallas Baptist University from 1983-1985.
In Louisiana he served on Baptist Student Union Advisory Committee and as Evangelism Director for Carey Baptist Association. He also served on the Committee on Committees of the LouisianaBaptist Convention, 1989-1992 chairing the committee twice and as President of the Louisiana Baptist Convention Pastor's Conference in 1995.
David served as Secretary/Treasurer of the 1991 SBC Pastor's Conference and Resolutions Committee Chairman for the 1991 Southern Baptist Convention, and served on the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention from 1986-1994 where he was elected Chairman in 1991 and 1992. He chaired the Committee to Study the Future of Theological Education in Southern Baptist Life for the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention.