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N.C. Baptists end ties with Wake Forest, Meredith

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (BP)–The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC) all but ended its relationship with Wake Forest University (WFU) and Meredith College in an overwhelming vote at the BSC annual meeting. More than 90 percent of messengers voted to amend the BSC Constitution and Bylaws, changing WFU and Meredith from “affiliated” educational institutions to “historical” educational institutions.

WFU and Meredith will continue to get some scholarship funding, but the two schools lose their non-voting seats on the BSC Council on Christian Higher Education. The schools will no longer be promoted by the BSC.

Tim Moore, the chairman of the BSC Constitution and Bylaws Committee, said the move severs “the last direct link” between the schools and the BSC.

Moore reminded messengers that a similar motion at last year’s meeting was amended to totally remove WFU from the BSC constitution and cut all funding, then failed to get the needed two thirds voted for passage.

“I’m not above begging you not to repeat history,” he said.

Moore asked those who thought the motion went too far and those who thought it didn’t go far enough to join those in the middle.

“If we don’t meet in the middle, friends, this will keep hounding us for another year,” he said.

Nathan Parrish, pastor of Unity Baptist Church in Winston-Salem and a two-time graduate of WFU, spoke against the motion. He said he thought the change sets a bad precedent that other schools might follow.

“I just feel like we lose a lot when these institutions that have been a part of us get away from us,” he said.

Jack Homesley, pastor of Christ Community Church in Huntersville, said that people who believe the Bible must stand against homosexuality and alcohol.

Some have criticized WFU for selling alcohol on campus and allowing a same-sex union ceremony to be held in its Wait Chapel.

“We have not left Wake Forest,” Homesley said. “I believe Wake Forest has left us.”

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