The Southern Baptist Convention’s (SBC) 2018 Committee on Nominations (CN) released a slate of nominees April 25 for each of the national committees and trustee boards, but after receiving pushback online for the list’s lack of ethnic diversity, the CN assured Southern Baptists the report is a work in progress.
The list included 69 new nominees, with an additional 72 proposed for renomination, according to Baptist Press.
SBC This Week, a Southern Baptist news and commentary website, reported on social media that 97 percent of new nominees were Caucasian (67 out of 69) – one was African American, one was Asian American and none were Hispanic.
The news met a wave of disapproval online from a wide range of Southern Baptists citing multiple SBC resolutions and statements from years past, which vowed to diversify the convention’s boards and committees.
A 1989 resolution on racism said, “Be it further RESOLVED, that our agencies and institutions seek diligently to bring about greater racial and ethnic representation at every level of Southern Baptist institutional life.”
In addition, a 2015 report by the SBC Executive Committee recommended that convention presidents, committee chairmen and committee members diligently and intentionally seek to propose nominees each year that represent the ethnic makeup of the SBC and report their results to messengers at the annual meeting.
A Southern Baptist blog site, SBC Voices, later reported that 2018 CN chairman James Freeman said the list of names is not final and the committee is still working to propose a diverse group of nominees, according to a source familiar with the matter.
Messengers will vote on the slate of nominees during this year’s SBC annual meeting in Dallas, Texas, scheduled for June 12 at 4:10 p.m. in the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.
The CN’s final report will be published in the annual meeting’s daily bulletin, which is made available to messengers on site prior to balloting.