Southern Baptist Convention President J. D. Greear, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, announced the names of individuals who will serve on the Committee on Committees, Resolutions Committee, and Credentials Committee, and as Tellers for the June 11–12 SBC annual meeting in Birmingham, Alabama.
Greear issued a 250-word statement about the committees he appointed:
I am pleased to announce this outstanding group of Southern Baptists. We began last August when I first asked state executives and associational missions strategists for input. These individuals all desire to keep the ‘Gospel Above All’ of our differences and be a unifying group around Jesus’s work and his mission.
This diverse group of Southern Baptists believe completely that we must continue to work to be a Convention that reflects the coming Kingdom, that keeps evangelism as our priority, emphasizes church planting as God’s plan ‘A,’ and engages the next generation in cooperative mission. All of these marks are what I believed the Holy Spirit was leading me to by allowing my name to be nominated by Ken Whitten last year and what this group believes as well.
Many of the members of the Committee on Committees are in churches that were started in the past decade. It’s critical that we engage those new to our processes early in the life of their churches so that they develop a clear understanding of the importance of cooperation toward our common mission as Southern Baptists. This committee represents churches of all sizes, ethnicities, and theological persuasions involved in the Southern Baptist Convention.
It was my goal to select Southern Baptists who would represent their fellow Southern Baptists well, and while CP giving wasn’t used as a measure for these appointments, the average Cooperative Program giving percentage of this group is higher than the average Southern Baptist church.
In a series of Baptist Press news articles released prior to the naming of each group during February, March, and April, Greear repeatedly pointed to his desire that these groups represent the full breadth of demographics—age, gender, race, church size—found in churches that cooperate with the Southern Baptist Convention.
Greear appointed a total of 126 individuals to serve on these four groups: sixty-eight members on the Committee on Committees; ten members on the Committee on Resolutions; twenty-six members on the Credentials Committee; and twenty-two Tellers.
Committee on Committees
Left: Sky Pratt, chairman; Prince Avenue Baptist Church, Athens, Georgia
Right: Ashlyn Portero, vice chair; City Church, Tallahassee, Florida
- Male: 45 people, 63 percent of the total
Female: 23 people, 34 percent
- Average age: 43
Non-white males: 46 people, 68 percent
White: 34 people, 50 percent
African Americans: 16 people, 24 percent
Hispanic: 10 people, 15 percent
Asian: 5 people, 7 percent
Other/multi-ethnic: 3 people, 4 percent
- Church size:
Less than 250: 51 percent
Less than 100: 24 percent
More than 250: 49 percent
Average baptisms: 26
Average attendance: 597
- Average Cooperative Program percentage: 7.66
- Number of members’ churches started in the last decade: at least 11
Committee on Resolutions
Left: Curtis Woods, chairman; Watson Memorial Baptist Church, Louisville, Kentucky
Right: Keith Whitfield, vice chair; Faith Baptist Church, Youngsville, North Carolina
- Male: 8 of 10 members
- Female: 2 of 10 members
- White males: 4 of 8, 2 pastors
- Non-white males: 4 of 8, 2 pastors
- Non-white females: 2 of 2 females
Left: Betsy Gomez, chairperson; First Baptist Church, Irving, Texas
Right: Muche Ukegbu, vice chair; The Brook Church, Miami, Florida
- Male: 14 of 26, 54 percent
- Female: 12 of 26, 46 percent
- Non-Anglo: 10 of 26, 38 percent
Left: Stephanie Orr, chairperson; First Baptist Church, Chipley, Florida
Right: Ray Carr, vice chair; Baptist Center Church, Clayton, North Carolina
- Male: 11 of 22, 50 percent
- Female: 11 of 22, 50 percent
- Non-Anglo: 10 of 22, 45 percent
In 2011, the SBC adopted a report asking the SBC president to report the number of appointees he selects for the committees under his purview that represent the ethnic diversity within Southern Baptist life. In 2012, SBC President Bryant Wright reported that 17 of the 114 men and women he appointed, or 15 percent, represented ethnic minority congregations. In 2013, SBC President Fred Luter reported that 19 of the 123 men and women he appointed, or 15.5 percent, represented ethnic minority congregations.
Each president in succession, Wright, Luter, Ronnie Floyd, and Steve Gaines, has followed suit. During Floyd’s two years as president, more than 20 percent of his appointees represented ethnic minority congregations. During Gaines’s second term as president, the Resolutions Committee was, for the first time, predominantly non-Anglo, with no majority ethnic group represented (four Anglo American, four African American, one Hispanic, and one Asian), and two other committees included 16 percent each representing ethnic minority congregations.
Current SBC President J. D. Greear followed suit with this year’s Resolutions Committee appointment with both men and women and no majority ethnic group represented. Overall, his slate of appointees appears to be the most ethnically and racially diverse in Southern Baptist history.