Pastor Traylor surprises Olive's guests by sending personal texts

Ted Traylor, left, the pastor of Olive Baptist Church in Pensacola, talks with FBW Executive Editor Kevin Bumgarner.I recently had the opportunity to spend time with Ted Traylor, pastor at Olive Baptist Church in Pensacola.

During our wide-ranging conversation, Dr. Traylor talked about a discipline in his life instilled by Jim Henry, former pastor of FBC Orlando and former president of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Jim told a small group of people that included Dr. Traylor about how every Saturday he used to call everyone who visited FBC Orlando the previous week.

Dr. Traylor’s response: “If Jim Henry can do that, I can do that.”

And he has, for the past 15 years.

But, a couple of years ago, Dr. Traylor started noticing something about his phone calls. No one was answering.

“So I started texting,” Dr. Traylor says. “I’m amazed at how many texts I get back. Who is this? Is this really the pastor? At first they don’t believe you did it. It used to be the shock value of getting a phone call from the pastor of a larger church. Now, if you get a personal text it’s like, “Hello, this is like really cool!”

Come back to our blog for more of my interview with Dr. Traylor.

Also, a video of our conversation will appear on later this month, and an edited version of our conversation will appear as the “Behind the Pulpit” feature in the April print edition of the Florida Baptist Witness, which will be mailed to subscribers on March 30th.

Kevin Bumgarner is executive editor of the Florida Baptist Witness. He can be reached via email at, and followed on Twitter @FBW_editor

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