The Administrative Subcommittee of the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention unanimously recommended to the Executive Committee today that the recommendations of the SBC Name Change Task Force (that the name “Southern Baptist Convention” be retained, but the alternate name of “Great Commission Baptists” be allowed for churches who prefer to use that nomenclature). The “Great Commission Baptists” name is not being proposed as a legal “doing business as” status, but as a secondary alternative name. The chairman of this subcommittee had been one of the most outspoken opponents of the proposed name change in the October meeting, but felt that this proposal was a good compromise. The proposal was approved by a strong majority of the full Executive Committee this afternoon, and will be presented to the SBC annual meeting in New Orleans this June.
SBC Convention President Bryant Wright presented Jimmy Draper, chairman of the SBC Name Change Task Force, to the SBC Executive Committee meeting in Nashville this evening (Monday, February 20th). The task force was appointed by President Wright, and thus is making its recommendation to him, who as a member of the Executive Committee could present it to the Executive Committee formally.
The task force recommended that the legal name “Southern Baptist Convention” be retained, because of the legal liabilities, name brand equity, and huge costs of changing the name. At the same time, the task force also recommended that it be supplemented with a non-legal or auxiliary name (or descriptor of our mission) of “Great Commission Baptists.” Each church could decide which name identity best fits its identity and needs. Task force members Ken Fentress, Pastor of Montrose Baptist Church in Rockville, Maryland, and Paige Patterson, president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary spoke on behalf of the recommendation.
The task force understands this proposal to be a fairly innoculous change, one that is a “win-win” for both those who want to retain the historic Southern Baptist Convention name, and for those who want a more contemporary and non-regional name. Perhaps this is the best solution for a convention that includes so many diverse perspectives.
The recommendation will go to the administrative subcommittee of the Executive Committee tomorrow, and possibly to the full Executive Committee tomorrow. In order to be presented to the SBC in New Orleans, the SBC Executive Committee will need to approve the proposal (possibly either this evening or tomorrow, but perhaps right before the SBC in June). Since the Convention’s Constitution or Bylaws are not being changed, it would not have to be approved in two consecutive SBC annual meetings, i.e., this year in New Orleans and next year in Houston. Just one vote would be necessary.
Vanderbilt University is now targeting the Baptist Collegiate Ministry on the Vanderbilt campus. The Vanderbilt BCM has been told if they even require that their leaders have “faith,” then it is discriminatory. See the story in Baptist Press. We plead with all Baptists and Christians to stand up against the Vanderbilt administration’s discrimination against Christians.
According to published reports in the Missouri Baptist Pathway and Baptist Press, the trustees of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (MBTS) Friday accepted the resignation of seminary president R. Philip Roberts effective Feb. 29 during a called meeting at an airport hotel.
Robin Hadaway, associate professor of missions at the seminary, was named acting president, according to trustee Kevin Shrum of Madison, Tenn., interim chairman of the board who acted as the sole spokesman for the meeting. Former chairman Wayne Lee of Southlake, Texas, resigned but remains a board member, Shrum said.
Rev. Fred Luter, Pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, announced to his congregation Sunday that he was willing for his name to be placed in nomination for President of the Southern Baptist Convention. Luter has served as Pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church for 26 years (since 1986). During that time, the church grew from 65 members to become one of the largest churches in Louisiana, with several thousand attending the New Orleans church, plus satellite campuses in Baton Rouge and Houston.
The Southern Baptist Convention will be holding its annual convention in Luter’s home town of New Orleans on June 19-20, 2012.
Click to read An Interview with Rev. Fred Luter.
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