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SBC publishing agency renamed LifeWay Christian Resources

SALT LAKE CITY (BP)–The Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention became LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention as a result of action by SBC messengers June 9. In a show-of-hands vote, only a scattering of messengers voted against the new name. The change, at the recommendation of SSB trustees and the SBC Executive Committee, came in recognition of the vastly expanded role of an agency founded in 1891 with the sole assignment of producing Sunday school literature for churches. Today, that assignment comprises only 25 percent of the agency’s work, SSB President James T. Draper Jr. told messengers. “Over the years the convention has given us tremendous additional work such as discipleship, music, bookstores, conference centers, trade publishing, drama, media library, architecture, worship, Christian schools, home schools, etc.,” said Draper. In addition, he said, the agency recently has taken an expanded role in new partnerships with the International Mission Board and North American Mission Board. “We feel that we need a name that enables you and all Southern Baptists to better understand the many resources available to you to support you in your ministries,” he said. Draper said the name LifeWay is based on John 14:6, in which Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man cometh to the father except by me.” He corrected the conception by some that the name change is an indication that the agency is leaving Southern Baptists. “We are the Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist convention. We will be LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention, if you approve this proposal. “I like it. It sounds like what Jesus said in John 14:6, and I’d encourage you to adopt it,” Draper concluded. Although messenger action allows the entity to begin immediate use of the name, a corresponding amendment to SBC bylaws will require a second vote by SBC messengers in 1999.

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  • James Dotson