DALLAS — A key leader in the moderate response to the
Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) inerrancy controversy in the 1980s died Feb.
25 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s Disease.
Oeita Theunissen, 87, known professionally and in church
leadership as Oeita Bottorff, was director of Baptists Committed, an
organization formed by Baptists to oppose a movement in the nation’s
second-largest faith group known alternatively as the “conservative resurgence”
or “fundamentalist takeover.”
She was a key organizer of the Cooperative Baptist
Fellowship — a group that celebrates its 20th anniversary this summer — formed
after it became clear that denominational loyalists would be unable to hold
onto SBC leadership through political means.
Prior to the controversy she was recognized as a leader
among Southern Baptists in youth recreation ministries. She worked a number of
years with the Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission on issues including
Texans Care for Children.
She is survived by her husband, Bruce, two children, a
grandson, two sisters and two stepdaughters. A memorial service is scheduled at
1:30 p.m., Thursday, March 3, at the Episcopal Church of the Ascension in
Memorials to: Dallas Women’s
Foundation or the food pantry of the Episcopal Church of the Ascension.
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