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Rainer, at MBTS, assesses SBC & church transitionKANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP) -- Hopefulness for the future of the Southern Baptist Convention in a season of denominational transition was voiced by Thom Rainer, president of LifeWay Christian Resources, in a discussion Sept. 19 with Jason Allen, president of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Titled "The State of the SBC," the discussion during Midwestern's chapel hour focused on the many significant changes facing the denomination. Among these is the need to fill four entity leadership positions within the SBC and to address a generational transition as well. Read More
Greear tightens SBC Birmingham scheduleNASHVILLE (BP) -- Southern Baptist Convention President J.D. Greear announced via Twitter that next year's SBC annual meeting in Birmingham, Ala., will not include any evening sessions.
The announcement came the same week the SBC Executive Committee released data indicating a growing role for digital media in conjunction with this year's SBC annual meeting in Dallas.
Following a Sept. 19 meeting of the SBC Committee on Order of Business in Nashville, Greear tweeted, "Spent the day w/ the Committee on Order of Business under chairman @AdamGreenway's excellent leadership. Very excited about #SBC19 next summer. New ideas coming -- it's a new day. Tightened schedule -- No evening sessions." Read More
EC WRAP-UP: Sex abuse prevention, pres. search, DRNASHVILLE (BP) -- An initiative by Southern Baptist Convention President J.D. Greear to address sexual abuse in the church will be funded by the first $250,000 in Cooperative Program overage for 2017-2018, by a vote of the SBC Executive Committee.
Other highlights of the Executive Committee's Sept. 17-18 meeting in Nashville included a report from the EC presidential search committee and a report on Southern Baptist Disaster Relief following Hurricane Florence. Two retiring leaders of Baptist state conventions were honored with resolutions of appreciation.
In appropriating money for Greear's Sexual Abuse Advisory Study, an initiative in conjunction with the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, the EC acted on behalf of the SBC "to provide two years of funding ... to study ways to address sexual abuse and related issues in a church or ministry context," according to a recommendation approved by the EC. The funding will be drawn from an anticipated $5 million overage from the 2017-2018 CP Allocation Budget. Read More
SWBTS 'moving forward' despite 'certain events'NASHVILLE (BP) -- "Although certain events took place this summer," Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary interim president Jeffrey Bingham told the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, Southern Baptists are invited to "move forward" with Southwestern.
During his Sept. 18 report to the EC in Nashville, Bingham referred at least five times to the May 30 termination of Southwestern president emeritus Paige Patterson, a week after he was accorded that status. Yet in an effort to focus on the future, Bingham never described what happened, utilizing instead the refrain "certain events." His only mention of Patterson by name was a request that EC members pray for him and his wife Dorothy.
"Yes, events happened this summer," Bingham said. "But you know what? Southwestern, by the grace and the mercy of God, is moving ahead to fulfill its mission, which is to train God-called men and women for a variety of ministries. We are not living in the past." Read More
Exec. Comm. members' questions aired in open forumNASHVILLE (BP) -- Concern over Baptist work in Utah and Idaho, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission were voiced during an Executive Committee open forum Sept. 18.
The forum was initiated by the EC's interim president, D. August Boto, in consultation with EC officers as part of the closing day's agenda during the Sept. 17-18 meeting in Nashville.
Boto, who also serves as the EC executive vice president and general counsel, called the forum an "experiment" apart from regular business "to voice the views from your home territories," whether questions, complaints, suggestions or praises regarding Southern Baptist ministry at the national level. Read More
BLOG: SBC Executive Committee meeting
NASHVILLE (BP) -- Baptist Press is live blogging plenary sessions of the SBC Executive Committee meeting Sept. 17-18. Updates can be read here and at our Twitter account. Read More
FIRST-PERSON: How's your church doing?
Denominational statistics are important, Gary Ledbetter writes, because "we are connected in our Great Commission work." Read More
Nat'l CP 2.59% ahead of projectionNASHVILLE (BP) -- Year-to-date contributions to Southern Baptist Convention national and international missions and ministries received by the SBC Executive Committee are 2.59 percent above the year-to-date budgeted projection, and 0.01 percent above contributions received during the same time frame last year, according to a news release from D. August Boto, SBC Executive Committee interim president and executive vice president for convention policy. Read More
LABOR DAY: Owen Cooper's faith keyed array of venturesYAZOO CITY, Miss. (BP) -- On Labor Day, Americans will celebrate U.S. workers who have built and shaped the nation and influenced the world.
One of the most successful entrepreneurs of the 20th century in Mississippi was also one of Southern Baptists' most influential laymen. The late Owen Cooper, who died Nov. 8, 1986, worked tirelessly in both arenas.
The year before Cooper's death, the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board named him Layman of the Century. He was the second of only two laypeople ever elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention, serving two terms, 1972-1974. Many who knew him say his commitment to Christ and Christ-like ministry inspired his vision for bold endeavors. Read More