Messengers approved numerous changes to their Articles and Bylaws virtually without dissent during Tuesday morning business.
Shannon Scott, chairman of the Articles and Bylaws Committee, walked messengers through 10 motions that consolidated, clarified and simplified Articles and Bylaws that govern the work of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. Nearly 600 messengers were present when the business session began, but messengers were streaming in steadily and registration reached 1,930 by noon.
Additionally, messengers approved a study committee that will begin the process to sever the current relationship between BSC and Baptist Retirement Homes.
A study committee report in 2007 recommended the Convention “respectfully request” of BRH that it initiate a formal severance. Since that time, there has been no action, according to Board President Allan Blume, pastor of Mount Vernon Baptist Church in Boone.
“The board believes this needs to reach a point of closure,” Blume said. A study committee will be appointed to bring a report in 2009.
The motions carried virtually without dissent, except for a couple “no” votes for motion seven, which dealt with makeup of the Board of Directors. It made committees consistent with the organization of Convention staff, and clearly positioned Fruitland Baptist Bible Institute as “accountable to the Board of Directors.”
The changes cut one-third of the verbiage from the Articles and Bylaws, consolidating references and eliminating redundancies.
No messenger spoke from the floor to challenge any of the motions or changes.
Blume also presented a motion to terminate councils and have them become committees of the Board of Directors “to simplify and streamline.” A study will look at their form and function and will “not seek to alter membership, power or responsibility” of the bodies.
“The question of this study is ‘What purpose does a council fulfill that is not fulfilled by a committee?’” Blume said. “There is no distinction between function of a council or a committee that relates to the Board.”
He said that in BSC history until the 1950s the task of the councils has been assigned to committees. Councils include Christian Social Services and Christian Higher Education.