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Church members urged to suggest names for trustee nominees

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Southern Baptists across the convention are urged to get involved in the process of filling the vacancies to be left as people rotate off various boards of trustees and SBC committees.

Through a newly-posted website utility, the Committee on Nominations has begun receiving names to consider for the trustee and committee vacancies that will occur effective at the end of the Southern Baptist Convention’s June 21-22 annual meeting in Nashville, Tenn.

Every member of a Southern Baptist church can visit the convention’s website, www.sbc.net, and click on the option titled, “Recommend SBC Trustees or Committee Members.” A recommendation form will appear on the screen, and it may be downloaded and faxed or filled out and filed electronically according to instructions.

“The strength of the Southern Baptist Convention is its people,” said Morris H. Chapman, president of the SBC Executive Committee. “None are more important than grassroots Southern Baptists who faithfully serve the Lord, often in anonymity, in their churches and communities. This process is open to any and every Southern Baptist who is a member in good standing of a Southern Baptist church.

“Whether you choose to engage in the process is a matter for you to prayerfully determine between you and the Lord. Individuals you may recommend should be bathed in prayer,” Chapman said.

The nominations process, as dictated by the SBC Bylaws, begins when the SBC president appoints the Committee on Committees. That committee then nominates two Southern Baptist church members from each qualified state to form the Committee on Nominations. Once approved by SBC messengers at the annual meeting, the Committee on Nominations reviews the qualifications of potential nominees to fill SBC trustee and committee vacancies whose names are brought to their attention by interested Southern Baptists.

The Committee on Nominations then nominates to the messengers at the next annual meeting those people they believe to be most worthy of election, and the convention then elects its trustees and committee members for terms stipulated by the convention bylaws.

Charters of each entity call for a balance between persons with church or denominational-related vocations and those without, so Chapman advises people to nominate one of each.

Following a letter from Chapman on the SBC site is a list of persons completing their second term of service, thereby creating vacancies. Names are categorized by entities, and an asterisk by a name indicates the vocation of the present trustee is not church- or denominational-related.

In order to serve as a trustee of an SBC entity, an individual must realize he or she represents the constituency of the convention rather than the staff of the entity, according to the SBC Bylaws.

The Committee on Nominations traditionally has ranked two characteristics extremely high among those they have used to select appropriate persons for service from the pool of qualified candidates. Those two important characteristics are 1) whether the candidate embraces the Baptist Faith and Message as the representative confession of faith among Southern Baptists and 2) whether the candidate’s home church has regularly given a substantial percentage of its undesignated receipts through the Cooperative Program.

“Trustees have a critical role in the life of the Southern Baptist Convention,” Chapman said. “Year after year, trustees are needed who come with a love for our Lord Jesus, a desire to please Him, strong biblical convictions and a determination to review each issue upon its own merit and prayerfully conclude how to vote on matters before the body that ultimately could affect the entire convention and beyond.

“The SBC owes genuine gratitude to the trustees rotating off the various trustee boards each year for the extraordinary faithfulness with which they have performed their assigned duties as representatives of the convention,” Chapman said.

In addition to trustees, individuals may recommend names for the Committee on Order of Business, a standing committee of the convention.

The Committee on Nominations will meet March 10-11 to select nominees from among the many qualified candidates including those submitted through the new suggestion forms on www.sbc.net.
To access the recommendation form and instructions, visit http://www.sbc.net/forms/recommendationform.asp.
To view the list of vacancies, visit http://www.sbclife.net/Articles/2004/11/sla10.asp and scroll down.

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