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Claude Thomas re-elected Executive Committee chair

ORLANDO, Fla. (BP)–The Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee elected officers for the 2000-2001 term and welcomed 10 new members during an organizational session June 14.

Re-elected for second one-year terms were chairman Claude Thomas, pastor of First Baptist Church, Euless, Texas, and recording secretary James H. Wells, pastor of Oakwood Baptist Church, Lee’s Summit, Mo.

Bruce G. Coe, pastor, First Baptist Church, Chandler, Ariz. was elected to a one-year term as vice chairman. Also nominated was D. Franklin Cox, senior pastor, North Metro First Baptist Church, Lawrenceville, Ga.

New members elected June 13 for four-year terms by SBC messengers were introduced. They are Richard J. Sweetman, minister of music, First Baptist Church, Upper Marlboro, Md.; Gail Pucik, member of Cross Point Baptist Church, Baton Rouge, La.; Robert W. Carpenter, Jr., senior pastor of Cedar Street Baptist Church, Holt, Mich.; Kenny Qualls, pastor of Springhill Baptist Church, Springfield, Mo., Russell E. Daines, pastor of El Camino Baptist Church, Las Vegas, Nev.; Terry L. Fields, senior pastor of Liberty Heights Baptist Church, West Chester, Ohio; Melissa Gay, member of First Baptist Church, Hendersonville, Tenn.; and, James C. Starr, member of Emmanuel Baptist Church, Rock Springs, Wyoming. Janet Hoffman, who is the newly elected president of Woman’s Missionary Union, and James G. Merritt, newly elected SBC president, also are members of the committee according to bylaw provisions.

Merritt, pastor of First Baptist Church, Snellville, Ga., took the platform to express thanks to committee members who supported him for president. “I broke out in a cold sweat the other night when I dreamed I was the only one running, but still lost,” quipped Merritt, who asked listeners to pray for three things for him — purity, wisdom and courage

“Pray that I have the courage to say the right thing, whether it’s popular or not,” Merritt said.

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  • Joni B. Hannigan