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Southern Baptists of Texas Convention offers fraternal relations to agencies

DALLAS (BP)–The Southern Baptists of Texas Convention is seeking a “fraternal” relationship with agencies and institutions of the Baptist General Convention of Texas that would allow churches to pass funds to those entities through the new state convention.

Jim Richards, executive director of the 600-church convention supportive of the Southern Baptist Convention, has invited presidents of BGCT-affiliated schools, child-care agencies and Texas Baptist Men to a March 7 meeting to discuss the proposal.

“By networking, the SBTC avoids a bureaucracy,” Richards wrote in a Jan. 3 invitation letter to agency heads. “The SBTC does not wish to create new schools and ministries when it is possible to partner with Baptist entities of like faith and practice.”

Richards told Baptist Press the SBCT has two categories of funding partners. “Affiliates” of the SBTC agree with the group’s doctrinal statement and qualify to receive convention funding. The convention also may establish “formal fraternal relationships” with entities that are not in the budget but may receive pass-through funds designated by local churches.

“It would be a monumental understatement to say that we are living in unprecedented times in Texas Baptist life,” Richards wrote to the agency heads. “My heart goes out to you as you seek to lead your [school/ministry] in a time of confusion, hurt, and change.

Most of the SBTC’s 600 churches have either left or maintain dual relationships with the BGCT, which has distanced itself from the Southern Baptist Convention in recent years.

The SBCT was founded in November 1998.

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