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Puryear ‘disappointed’ with SBC EC decision
Baptist Press
September 24, 2010
5 MIN READ TIME

Puryear ‘disappointed’ with SBC EC decision

Puryear ‘disappointed’ with SBC EC decision
Baptist Press
September 24, 2010

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The

Southern Baptist Convention’s (SBC) Executive Committee (EC) unanimously

declined Sept. 21 to recommend that Baptist Press be made a separate entity,

and instead affirmed a 1982 study on the matter that reached the same

conclusion.

In its fall meeting the

Executive Committee also declined to advance motions referred to it by action

of the SBC meeting in annual session in June.

It declined to recommend a

proposed amendment to Article VI of the Convention’s constitution which would

have required that each committee and board’s membership meet a quota based on

church size. The motion was brought by Les Puryear, pastor of Lewisville

Baptist Church and an advocate for more small church representation on SBC

boards and agencies.

The Executive Committee is “satisfied

that the Committee on Committees and Committee on Nominations are sensitive to

and seek to attain the balance sought by the maker of the motion.” The

difficulty of administrating the quota system, EC members said, would outweigh

the benefit and might defeat the goal of seeking the best possible person for

each position.

Puryear “was disappointed in

the ruling.”

“It was obvious to me the

decision had been made before the meeting ever took place,” he said after the

meeting.

He said the Executive Committee rationale included two objections:

that quotas would limit the number of “good people” available for trustees

positions, and that small church leaders would have neither time nor money to

attend the required meetings.

“To say that getting more

people from the majority of our churches would reduce the number of ‘good

people’ available is an insult to the majority of our churches,” Puryear said.

As to the time and money

issue, Puryear said, “We have more than 30,000 (small) churches. I think we

could find a couple hundred people who would have time and money to attend.”

He promised to “continue my

quest to get more equitable representation for small churches” in the SBC.

The Executive Committee

also:

  • declined to amend the SBC

    constitution to expand the definition of friendly cooperation to include “racial

    discrimination” as a disqualifier for churches wishing to cooperate with the

    convention.

  • declined to adopt the U.S.

    Christian flag known as Beauty and Band as the banner flag of the Southern

    Baptist Convention. The Executive Committee said “a Christian flag already

    exists that is widely recognized and used by Christians in the United States

    and around the world.”

  • received as information a

    Cooperative Program Budget report for the 2009-10 fiscal year showing

    $145,520,420 has been received through the third quarter, representing a

    decrease of $5,063,463 or 3.36 percent when compared to the same period last

    year.

  • approved a 2010-11 SBC

    Operating Budget in the amount of $8,643,951. The budget includes a $70,000

    reduction in the amount budgeted for Global Evangelical Relations and a

    $208,750 reduction in funds for Empowering Kingdom Growth.

The rationale is that the

Executive Committee wanted Frank Page, president-elect of the Executive

Committee, to have freedom in deciding whether to continue GER and EKG. Reserve

funds are available to supplement the budgets of those two ministries, the

Executive Committee said, if Page decides to continue them.

  • recommended that the

    convention planning process of the Executive Committee “continue the

    concentrated effort to obtain the option for messengers to purchase multi-day

    parking passes through the convention center or parking facility” related to

    SBC annual meetings.

  • declined due to printing

    logistics to recommend a change to the format of the SBC Book of Reports that

    would list trustee and committee members’ churches and what percentage the

    churches give through the Cooperative Program.

The Book of Reports goes to

the printer in mid-May and work of the Committee on Nominations continues

through the first week of June, so it is “impossible to include the requested

information.” The Executive Committee did, though, encourage the SBC Committee

on Nominations “to consider the level of Cooperative Program support for each

nominee.”

Baptist Press

The Executive Committee

again considered the motion that Baptist Press, the SBC’s news service, be

formed as a separate entity. Baptist Press currently is part of the Executive

Committee.

Members decided “the

conclusions derived from a study of the structure of Baptist Press in 1982”

that were affirmed in 1987 “are still considered valid, and therefore the

Executive Committee desires that Baptist Press continue to operate as an

integral part of the ministry assignment of the Executive Committee.”

Executive Committee member

Martin Davis said his research showed that setting up Baptist Press as a

separate entity like the Southern Baptist Foundation would cost an additional

$3 million per year.

The Executive Committee also

adopted resolutions of appreciation for David Baldwin and Michael Collins, who

are retiring as executive directors of the Alaska Baptist Convention and the

Baptist State Convention of Michigan, respectively.