News Articles

Adrian Rogers named chairman of BF&M study committee

WAKE FOREST, N.C. (BP)–Adrian Rogers, longtime pastor of historic Bellevue Baptist Church in metro Memphis, Tenn., is the chairman of a 15-person committee appointed by Southern Baptist Convention President Paige Patterson to study the SBC’s Baptist Faith & Message statement.
Authorized by the 1999 annual meeting of the SBC in Atlanta in June, the “blue-ribbon committee” will bring a report to the 2000 annual meeting next June in Orlando, Fla. The Atlanta convention voted 2,327-1,063 to have Patterson appoint the committee, with the only instructions to review the document and report back in 2000.
The BF&M, originally adopted in 1925 and revised in 1963, had its first addition in 1998 at the Salt Lake City annual meeting when a family/marriage article was adopted. Although Southern Baptists have no creed, the BF&M has generally been seen as an objective statement of the beliefs of the nation’s largest evangelical group.
Patterson, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, N.C., said the committee will be represented by members from 11 different states.
“It includes seven pastors, one Baptist Student Union director, one state Woman’s Missionary Union director, two seminary presidents, three representatives of ethnic fellowships, two women, one layman, three SBC agency directors and two former convention presidents,” Patterson said.
Patterson said he did “not anticipate even beginning to approximate a rewrite of the BF&M.”
“Most folks feel, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,’” Patterson said, calling the BFM an “undeniably fabulous statement.”
“However, the messenger making the motion believes, and I concur, that every 30 years or so we need to take a look at the statement of faith, not because our faith changes, but because the issues of the day usually dictate some minor revisions to remove ambiguities or address specific issues,” Patterson said. Nevertheless, Patterson said the committee would be “free to proceed with whatever recommendations they wish to make.”
“I am sure they will enjoy not only my prayer support but that of all Southern Baptists.”
T. C. Pinckney, a member of Good News Baptist Church, Alexandria, Va., and editor of The Baptist Banner, a Virginia-based conservative journal, made the motion for the study committee. He told the Atlanta convention, “I believe it is appropriate at this time that the BF&M be reviewed and that it be made consistent with the current stand of the SBC.” Patterson appointed him to the committee.
Details of when the committee will meet, how often and when its report would be ready were not available. A phone call to Rogers at the Bellevue church in Cordova, a suburb of Memphis, was not returned by Baptist Press deadline Aug. 24.
The committee, in addition to Rogers, includes Jerry Vines, pastor of First Baptist Church, Jacksonville, Fla.; R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Ky., and a member of Highview Baptist Church, Louisville; Steve Gaines, pastor of First Baptist Church, Gardendale, Ala.; Heather King, state WMU/Women’s Ministries director for the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana and member of Northside Baptist Church, Indianapolis; Simon Tsoi, pastor of First Chinese Baptist Church, Phoenix; T. C. Pinckney, member of Good News Baptist Church, Alexandria, Va.; Susie Hawkins, member of Prestonwood Baptist Church, Dallas, and wife of SBC Annuity Board President O. S. Hawkins; Charles Kelley Jr., president of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and member of First Baptist Church, New Orleans; Roger Spradlin, pastor of Valley Baptist Church, Bakersfield, Calif.; Richard Land, president of the SBC Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, Nashville, Tenn., and member of First Baptist Church, Franklin, Tenn.; Rudy Hernandez, Hispanic Southern Baptist evangelist and member of Primera Iglesia Bautista, Grand Prairie, Texas; Fred Luter, African American pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church, New Orleans; Max Barnett, Baptist Student Union director at the University of Oklahoma and member of Trinity Baptist Church, Norman, Okla.; and Nelson Price, pastor of Roswell Street Baptist Church, Marietta, Ga.

    About the Author

  • Herb Hollinger