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SBC DIGEST: Mo. layman announces GCR-related motion for SBC; …

REPUBLIC, Mo. (BP)–A Missouri layman, Kent Cochran, has released the text of a motion he said he intends to make, or another individual will make, at the SBC annual meeting in Phoenix calling for an assessment of the impact of last year’s Great Commission Resurgence Task Force report within the Southern Baptist Convention and related entities.

Cochran also announced that a meeting of “SBC Conservatives” will be held from 5-7 p.m. Monday, June 13, at the Hyatt Hotel in Phoenix.

Cochran will be a messenger from Calvary Baptist Church in Republic, Mo., according to the church’s pastor, Randy Johnson.

The motion Cochran released to Baptist Press states: “I move that the Convention create a special committee to be called the ‘UNITY COMMITTEE’, to review, evaluate and make recommendation(s) about perceptions and realities about impact and implementation of the GCR Task Force Report during the past year by SBC entities, state conventions and related organizations and networks; that the Committee bring a report and recommendations(s) to the 2012 SBC Annual meeting; and that the Committee be comprised of 21 members to be appointed by the President, fully representational of Southern Baptists and that the minutes, records and proceedings from the Committee’s meetings and work be open to the Southern Baptist public and available to all Southern Baptists no later than 12 months after it has given its report to the SBC.”

Baptist Press’ report on the GCR Task Force recommendations’ adoption at the 2010 SBC annual meeting in Orlando can be accessed at www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=33150

Cochran, in a five-page fax to Baptist Press, included material referencing an article in The Christian Index of Georgia that one of the state’s congregations, Abilene Baptist Church in Martinez, has voted to exclude Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary from its gifts to the Georgia and Southern Baptist conventions. The church’s pastor, Bill Harrell, is a former chairman of the SBC Executive Committee.

Harrell, in a four-paragraph letter to the Georgia convention, claimed in part that there are entities in the SBC “which have Calvinism as their agenda and are using it as a tool to take the SBC into a theological model with which ninety-five percent of the people in the SBC disagree.”

ERIC THOMAS TO BE 2nd VP NOMINEE — Virginia pastor Eric Thomas will be nominated as second vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention, a North Carolina pastor announced June 9.

Thomas, pastor of First Baptist Church in Norfolk, Va., will be nominated by Clint Pressley, senior pastor of Hickory Grove Baptist Church in Charlotte, N.C.

The SBC annual meeting will be June 14-15 in Phoenix. A full story on the nomination will be published when Baptist Press receives further information from the nominator.

1st VP NOMINEE’S KEY 2010 STATS — In compiling statistics related to nominees for Southern Baptist Convention offices, Baptist Press has gathered the following information related to first vice president candidate Fred Luter, pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, La.

In 2010, Franklin Avenue Baptist Church reported primary worship attendance of 4,000; undesignated receipts of $4,407,217; Cooperative Program contributions of $261,798; a Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions gift of $35; an Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American Missions gift of $1,323; and $479,540 in total missions expenditures. The information above matches the Annual Church Profile data maintained by LifeWay Christian Resources.

The initial Baptist Press story on Luter’s nomination for SBC first vice president can be accessed at www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?id=35473. Information on SBC officer nominees can be accessed at www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?id=35481.

MO. EXEC SEARCH COMMITTEE MEETS — The Missouri Baptist Convention’s 11-member executive director search committee held its second meeting May 26 in Jefferson City at the Baptist Building as it continues “its quest to find the 20th executive director for the Convention,” according to a news release from the committee.

Committee chairman Vic Borden, pastor of Red Bridge Baptist Church in Kansas City, said the committee met for several hours to pray and establish guidelines for their work necessitated by the January resignation of David Tolliver.

“The full committee met and it was a time permeated by prayer, transparency and a commitment to serve together in unity,” Borden said after the committee’s meeting. “We established guidelines on how the committee will operate.”

Borden said the committee already has received some nominations but declined to reveal how many. He said the committee will continue to receive nominations until June 30. All nominations may be sent to Vic Borden, Red Bridge Baptist Church, Kansas City, MO 64137-2059.

The committee’s next meeting will be in July at the Baptist Building. All of its sessions are being held in closed-door executive session.

“We will be working through our foundational guidelines in preparation of the committee being fully prepared to evaluate nominations as they come in,” said Borden, who also serves on the MBC Executive Board. He would not speculate about how long the search might take, but added, “We are not letting grass grow under our feet.”

The committee includes Missouri Southern Baptists from the conventions eight regions and was unanimously approved by the MBC Executive Board during its April 12 meeting.

James Freeman, a member of Country Meadows Baptist Church in Lee’s Summit, serves as vice chairman. The Missouri convention’s president, John Marshall, pastor of Second Baptist Church in Springfield, is a non-voting member.
Compiled by Baptist Press editor Art Toalston.

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