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Texas association overwhelmingly affirms its commitment to SBC


MALAKOFF, Texas (BP)–The Henderson Southern Baptist Association affirmed its commitment to the Southern Baptist Convention during a special called meeting July 6, according to Casey Perry, the Texas association’s moderator.

All but two of the 25 churches represented at the meeting voted to support the SBC, said Perry, pastor of First Baptist Church, Malakoff.

“We felt that as pastors we needed to affirm the SBC,” Perry said. “We needed to let it be known there are Southern Baptists here in Texas who are in agreement and are supportive of the Baptist Faith and Message.”

The association’s vote will be reaffirmed at its annual meeting on Oct. 22, Perry said.

Perry said the emergency meeting was called following comments made by Clyde Glazener, president of the Baptist General Convention of Texas. In a June 25 interview published in the Dallas Morning News, Glazener raised the possibility that Texas Baptists would leave the SBC and create a new Baptist denomination.

BGCT Executive Director Charles Wade subsequently disputed Glazener’s remarks, stating the need for the BGCT to redefine its relationship with the SBC, not cut all ties or start an alternative national body. While noting his support for the SBC, Wade also said Texas Baptists do not have to give to the SBC’s causes, including the Cooperative Program.

“Dr. Wade had stated that Texas Baptists would not go with the Southern Baptists,” Perry said. “He wasn’t speaking for us.”

The association gave $476,313 in mission gifts through the SBC’s Cooperative Program last year.

The Henderson Southern Baptist Association includes approximately 14,000 Baptists about 45 miles west of Tyler, Texas.

“We aren’t mega-churches,” Perry said. “But this is about mainstream, grassroots Baptists who support the SBC.”

First Baptist Malakoff is located in a town with about 2,000 residents. The church averages 200 in Sunday school and 350 in worship. Perry said that many smaller Texas Baptist congregations support the SBC.

“I think you are going to see a groundswell of support for the convention through small towns and country churches,” he said.

While Perry said the churches in the Henderson association do not plan on leaving the BGCT, he noted that some are dually aligned with the BGCT and the Southern Baptists of Texas, a conservative state convention that supports the SBC.
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  • Todd Starnes