Sermon to remain before election, committee decides
June 22 2001 by Steve DeVane , BR Managing Editor

Sermon to remain before election, committee decides | Friday, June 22, 2001

Friday, June 22, 2001

Sermon to remain before election, committee decides

By Steve DeVane BR Managing Editor The program, place and preacher committee has decided not to move the sermon at this year's Baptist State Convention (BSC) meeting despite concerns that the preacher will be nominated for president. John Cashwell, chairman of the committee and pastor of Green Springs Baptist Church in Parkton, said Charles Page was asked to preach the convention sermon long before he was asked to be nominated for president.

Conservative Carolina Baptists announced April 26 that Page would run for president at the BSC meeting in November.

The convention sermon is preached during the Monday evening session of the annual BSC meetings. The presidential election is the next day.

Some have questioned whether a candidate for president should be allowed to preach before the election.

Cashwell said his committee decided against moving the convention sermon until after the election. The committee wanted to emphasize worship each day, with the convention sermon on Monday, a musical on Tuesday and a time of prayer on Wednesday, he said.

"Let's not emphasize politics; let's emphasize God," he said. "Maybe we can find one thing we Baptists can agree on - that's the worship of God."

In a meeting with the Mainstream Baptists of North Carolina (MBNC) steering committee, Page talked about the wisdom and fairness of his preaching the convention sermon at the meeting at which he will be nominated. He said he called a member of the program, place and preacher committee and current BSC President Mike Cummings and offered to step aside. He said they encouraged him to preach the sermon since he had been asked well before he decided to run for president.

Don Gordon, the chairman of the MBNC steering committee, said some will see the issue as giving Page an unfair political advantage.

No other candidate for president has been announced.

Cashwell said his committee also decided to leave BSC vice presidential elections on Wednesday even though the move from Tuesday was questioned.

"We're saying with that that every day of our convention is important," he said.

Traditionally, Tuesday has been the best attended with attendance falling off markedly on Wednesday.

Both matters can be challenged on the floor of the convention.

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6/22/2001 12:00:00 AM by Steve DeVane , BR Managing Editor | with 0 comments
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