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Golden Gate trustees reaffirm BF&M, Southern Baptist Convention authority

MILL VALLEY, Calif. (BP)–Trustees of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary reaffirmed support for Baptist Faith and Message confessional statement and the institution’s allegiance to the Southern Baptist Convention during their regular spring meeting April 13 in Mill Valley, Calif.
Trustees approved several revisions to key governing documents that strengthen the institution’s Southern Baptist identity. One such change to the seminary constitution affirms that the “cardinal beliefs on which the Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary is founded and in harmony with which it will operate are expressed in ‘The Baptist Faith and Message’ approved by the Southern Baptist Convention … .”
Seminary President William O. “Bill” Crews noted the change eliminates a reference to 1963, the last time the SBC revised the Baptist Faith and Message statement before the 1998 addition of an article on the family. Crews said removing the date prevents the need for future revision of seminary documents in the event that other changes are made to the Baptist Faith and Message.
Originally adopted in 1925, the Baptist Faith and Message is a statement of doctrinal beliefs generally held by Baptists. Although it is not considered an official creed and carries no binding authority, it has served for decades as information to the churches and guidelines to agencies of the Southern Baptist Convention.
In a related matter, Crews told trustees that seminary faculty members also have “indicated intention to continue their commitment” to the Baptist Faith and Message. He said that came in response to his directive that any faculty member who could not abide by the current version of the statement should “bring appropriate closure” to their service at Golden Gate Seminary.
Crews said all faculty members “responded affirmatively that they will continue to teach in accord with and not contrary to” the Baptist Faith and Message.
“That gives us the assurance that they will continue to do that. It has been a very good process for us and we are grateful for it,” Crews declared.
Another action by trustees ensures that Golden Gate Seminary will remain firmly under Southern Baptist Convention control. Trustees ratified the seminary’s “restated articles of incorporation” under California law, naming the Southern Baptist Convention as the sole member of the corporation.
The SBC Executive Committee had requested that GGBTS trustees affirm the denomination’s authority in this manner. Among other things, the action guarantees the SBC authority to determine the qualifications of trustees, elect and remove trustees and approve or override trustee actions.

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  • Mark A. Wyatt