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Maryland/Delaware Baptists restructure mission board

TOWSON, Md. (BP)–Messengers to the annual meeting of the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware affirmed a restructuring of the convention’s General Mission Board and voiced support for the Boy Scouts of America for its stand against homosexuality.

Messengers also re-elected James McBride, director of missions for Delaware Association, as president. James Dixon, pastor of El Bethel Baptist Church, Prince George’s Association, was re-elected first vice president and Harold Phillips, Pleasant View Baptist Church, Port Deposit, Md. was elected second vice president.

The restructuring alters the mission board’s committee structure, replacing standing committees with ad hoc committees. This allows those BCM/D strategic teams to carry the work of the convention and relate directly to the General Mission Board, officials said.

Philip Mercer, president of the mission board, said the restructuring takes “a layer out of communication” to make it a simpler process and lessen duplication or conflicts between decision-making bodies.

Also included is a restructuring of the administrative committee to include one representative from each BCM/D association and a reduction of scheduled board meetings from five to three per year.

Phillips proposed the resolution affirming the Boy Scouts of America stand. He said the scouts stand against homosexuality was in accord with God’s word. The BSA has been sued by a former scout leader who is a homosexual. The former scout leader won in a New Jersey ruling but the BSA has appealed the decision.

Messengers also approved a $5,181,330 budget for the year 2000. The budget projects BCM/D churches will contribute $3,475,000 in Cooperative Program funds of which 59 percent will stay in BCM/D and 41 percent will be forwarded to the Southern Baptist Convention after an expanded annuity preferred item is subtracted.

It was announced at the Nov. 15-16 meeting that resumes are now being accepted by the BCM/D for the position of executive director. A search committee will bring a recommendation for the successor to Executive Director Charles Barnes who is retiring in March 2000.

The 2000 annual meeting will be at the Sheraton Dover Hotel in Delaware Nov. 13-14.

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