An Historic Meeting
Morris H. Chapman, president and chief executive officer of the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention, in a January 19 meeting with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Dr. Chapman and James Merritt, pastor of First Baptist Church, Snellville, Ga., and chairman of the Executive Committee, were among a number of evangelical leaders invited to meet privately with Netanyahu in Washington, D.C. Other Southern Baptists at the meeting were: Bailey Smith, past president of the Southern Baptist Convention and president of Bailey Smith Ministries; his son Steven Smith, pastor of Salem Baptist Church, Richmond, Va.; and Richard Lee, pastor of Rehoboth Baptist Church, Tucker, Ga.
In recognition of the healthy relationship between state conventions and the Executive Committee, on February 17, 1997 the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention unanimously affirmed the following statement on maintaining the historic Cooperative Program relationship with state conventions:
The Executive Committee believes the established principles and methods of cooperation between state conventions and the Southern Baptist Convention have been blessed of God and demonstrated to be reliable and effective.
We are committed to the historic patterns of cooperative relationships with state conventions and to developing those relationships to the fullest potential in carrying out the Great Commission mandate to reach the lost world for Christ.