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Record number of motions proposed at SBC in Indy

INDIANAPOLIS (BP)–Messengers proposed a record 29 motions on the opening day of the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention encompassing issues as heated as changing the name of the SBC and as innocuous as officially commending a family friendly movie soon to be released by the Walt Disney Company.

A motion by Claude Thomas, pastor of First Baptist Church of Euless, Texas, asking the convention to appoint a committee to examine changing the name of the SBC, produced a spirited debate. Messengers voted 55-45 percent against establishing a name-change committee.

Nancy Shaeffer, a member of Ebenezer Baptist Church of Toccoa, Ga., introduced a motion to develop a partnership between the SBC’s North American Mission Board (NAMB) and Child Evangelism Fellowship to place Good News Clubs in public elementary schools.

Schaeffer urged the development of such clubs “while the window of opportunity” is open. She said Southern Baptist churches should consider adopting elementary schools for the purpose of evangelizing and disciplining the children of America.

The motion was referred to NAMB.

Stephen Parks, a messenger from First Baptist Church of Lufkin, Texas, moved to have a portion of the SBC’s annual meeting in 2007 devoted to a program celebrating the 300th anniversary of the rise of associations within the Baptist denominations.

Parks’ motion further asked the SBC to produce materials and events in 2007 celebrating the anniversary of associations, which became a part of the Baptist denomination in America in 1707 with the founding of the Philadelphia Association. Parks serves as director of missions for the Unity Baptist Association.

The motion was referred to NAMB.

Bob Casey, a messenger from Parkview Baptist Church in Gainesville, Fla., moved that the convention amend its bylaws to reflect the most recent version of parliamentary procedures outlines in an updated version of Robert’s Rules of Order. The present language in Bylaw 11 was approved in 1964.

The motion was referred to the SBC Executive Committee.

Ed Ethridge of MacArthur Boulevard Baptist Church in Irving, Texas, asked the SBC to reaffirm its “absolute dependence upon the Holy Bible as the inspired, infallible and inerrant Word of God,” and that the denomination establish 2005 as Southern Baptist Year of the Bible. Ethridge further moved to have the SBC call on all members of its churches to read through the Bible in 2005 and asked that LifeWay Christian Resources create materials “to assist the Church [in its] vital role of fulfilling the Great Commission.”

The motion was referred to LifeWay.

Phillip Brunner of Main Street Baptist Church in Alexandria, Ky., moved that the SBC Executive Committee undertake a study to determine how single adults are being evangelized and ministered to by convention entities and deliver the results of its research to the denomination.

The motion was referred to the Executive Committee, LifeWay and NAMB.

Allan Blume of Mount Vernon Baptist Church in Boone, N.C., moved that “the Executive Committee study the process of trustee orientation and trustee accountability to the Southern Baptist Convention.”

Blume said the study should result in a “unified process of trustee orientation and trustee accountability” across the entities of the Southern Baptist Convention.

The motion was referred to the Executive Committee.

Mickey Porter of Mountain View Baptist Church in Layton, Utah, moved that “the responsibility for ministry to college and university campuses in the United States and Canada be moved from LifeWay Christian Resources to the North American Mission Board.”

The motion was referred to the Executive Committee, LifeWay and NAMB.

Jeff Dawkins of Jewel Baptist Church in High Point, N.C., moved that the SBC boycott Carnival Cruise Lines and instruct the SBC Annuity Board “to sell all stock in Carnival Cruise Lines.”

Dawkins proposed the boycott in light of recent reports that Carnival is planning to host an event called “Gay Days.”

“Selling the stock at such a time is prudent,” Dawkins said, “preferably sooner than later.”

The motion was referred to the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and the Annuity Board.

Dale Darley, pastor of Scottsville Baptist Church in Scottsville, Ky., moved that at future SBC annual meetings, the president appoint a ten member committee composed of hearing-impaired, visually-impaired and physically disabled messengers to assist in logistical planning of the annual meeting.

The motion was referred to the Executive Committee.

Ted Warren of First Baptist Church in Hendersonville, Tenn., moved that all SBC entities take the actions necessary to comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, a federal law requiring companies to establish a system for employees to anonymously report financial misdeeds.

The motion was referred to the Executive Committee.

Ron Wilson of First Baptist Church in Thousand Oaks, Calif., moved that state conventions provide a good faith estimate as to when they will begin to divide Cooperative Program gifts equally between state convention ministries and SBC ministries.

The motion was referred to the Executive Committee.

David Roberts of Clarks Chapel Baptist Church in Lenoir, N.C., moved that the convention schedule more time for business matters in future meetings.

The motion was referred to the Executive Committee.

Roberts also moved that the convention be instructed to publish the text of proposed resolutions no later than the day 1, part 2 “SBC Bulletin.”

The motion was referred to the Executive Committee.

Tom Rains of First Southern Baptist Church in Quincy, Ill., moved that “the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention be requested to adopt sole membership at their next scheduled board meeting and at the 2005 SBC.”

The motion was referred to the Executive Committee.

Tim Sweatman of Jackson Grove Baptist Church in Bowling Green, Ky., moved that the SBC “provide the Book of Reports free of charge to all duly registered messengers of the Convention beginning with the 2005 annual meeting.”

The motion was referred to the Executive Committee.

Christopher Crain of South Roebuck Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., moved that the convention instruct ERLC President Richard Land to produce and promote a comprehensive resource to encourage and inform Christians of the “loving choice of adopting children both domestic and foreign.”

Crain’s motion was referred to the ERLC.

David Crosby of First Baptist Church of New Orleans asked the convention to go on record as stating that local church ordination not be required for service as a military chaplain. Crosby further asked the denomination to endorse both “qualified men and women to military and other chaplaincy positions.”
Crosby’s motion was referred to NAMB.

A number of motions were ruled out of order. The motions:

— Asked Southern Baptists to officially commend Walt Disney Pictures for its recent movie “America’s Heart and Soul.”

— Asked the SBC to call American Christians to two days of prayer and fasting in Washington, D.C.

— Asked the International Mission Board to reinstate the Office of International Outreach.

— Asked the SBC to “go on record” against “killing babies under any circumstance.”

— Requested that the King James Version of the Bible be kept “preeminent in churches and Sunday School materials.”

— Called for cooperation between older and younger pastors as well as between large and small churches in associations.

— Expressed gratitude for the life and influence of Ronald Reagan.

— Asked the SBC to appoint a committee to study “the problem of child abuse, incest and child molestation perpetrated by members of the laity and/or staff of Southern Baptist churches.”

— Asked the SBC to require its six seminaries to minister to international students studying in America.

— Called for Southern Baptists to attend state rallies supporting a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

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