About Steve Gaines

Steve Gaines serves as the Senior Pastor at Bellevue Baptist Church, Memphis, TN. He has served in four churches as senior pastor over the past 30 years and is a former president of the Southern Baptist Convention. He holds a Ph.D. in Preaching from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Ft. Worth, TX. Steve is married to Donna Gaines and they have four children.

Steve's Children
  • Darrell Grant Gaines – married to Melisa.
    • Children: Alivia, Weston, Camille and Sawyer.
    • Grant is the Senior Pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Jackson, TN.
  • Lindsey Gaines Wingo – married to Ryan.
  •  Allison Gaines Hill – married to Gentry.
    • Children: Hadley, Dempsey, and Emery Kate.
    • Gentry is Senior Pastor of FBC Poteau, OK.
  •  Bethany Gaines Golding – married to David.
    • Bethany is a stay-at-home mom.
    • Daughter: Ainsley. 
    • David is an engineer with Turner Construction.


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas
Major: Preaching; Minor: Evangelism
Title of Dissertation: “An Analysis of the Correlation between Representative Baptist Hour Sermons by Herschel H. Hobbs and Selected Articles of The Baptist Faith and Message.”

Master of Divinity (M.Div.), Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas

Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Union University, Jackson, Tennessee

University of Tennessee at MartinMartin, Tennessee
Attended freshman and sophomore years
Full football scholarship at UTM
Starting defensive end, freshman and sophomore years

Dyersburg High School, Dyersburg, Tennessee, 1975

Ministry Experience

President, Southern Baptist Convention, 2016-2017

Pastor, First Baptist Church, Gardendale, Alabama, 1991-2005.


1st in baptisms in Alabama Baptist State Convention (a total of 3,100+ Baptist churches) in 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, and 2004; (2nd in 1996, 2001 and 2003)

Morning Worship:

Began three morning worship services in September, 1996 to accommodate growth. Increased average morning worship attendance from 1600 to an average of 3,300 in morning worship

Sunday School:

Increased average on-campus Sunday School attendance from 1,550 to 2,591

Pastor, West Jackson Baptist Church, Jackson, Tennessee, 1988-1991

Pastor, Lake Shore Baptist Church, Lake Dallas, Texas, 1983-1988

Associate Pastor/Youth Minister, Lake Shore Baptist Church, Lake Dallas, Texas, 1981-1983

Associate Pastor/Youth Minister, First Baptist Church, Milan, Tennessee, 1978-1980

SBC and Christian Service

Southern Baptist Convention:
President of Southern Baptist Pastors Conference, 2005
Preached the Convention Sermon, 2004
Member of Baptist Faith and Message Study Committee, 1999-2000
Committee on Nominations, 1991, 1999
Trustee, LifeWay Christian Resources (formerly Baptist Sunday School Board), 1998-2000
Pres. of Tennessee Baptist Convention Pastor’s Conference 2015
President of the Southern Baptist Convention, 2016

Alabama Baptist State Convention:
President, Pastors’ Conference of Alabama Baptist State Convention, 1999 State Board of Missions, 1992-1995

Trustee, Union University, Jackson, Tennessee, 2014-Present
Board of Reference, Union University, Jackson, Tennessee, 2003-2014

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