BSC planners bypass 'drive-by' convention
May 11 2001 by Steve DeVane , BR Managing Editor

BSC planners bypass 'drive-by' convention | Friday, May 11, 2001

Friday, May 11, 2001

BSC planners bypass 'drive-by' convention

By Steve DeVane BR Managing Editor This year's annual meeting of the Baptist State Convention (BSC) won't be the "drive-by" convention that was criticized as rushed and too short last year. This year's meeting in November will return to a Monday night through Wednesday morning format that was used until two years ago.

The program changes mark the third straight year of revisions for the BSC's annual meeting. In 1999, the Wednesday morning session was removed. Last year, the Tuesday evening session was deleted.

The shortened meeting in 2000 drew complaints from people who thought the program seemed rushed.

A study committee has been appointed to look into changes. Some of the study committee's suggestions were added by this year's Program, Place and Preacher Committee.

The change expected to generate the most conversation among N.C. Baptists is the move of the two vice presidents' elections from Tuesday afternoon to Wednesday morning. Attendance usually peaks on Tuesdays when elections are held. The BSC budget will also be considered during the final session.

BSC Executive Director-treasurer Jim Royston said having "some serious business" on Wednesday will encourage people to stay until the meeting ends. He said members of the Program, Place and Preacher Committee "wrestled" and "agonized" over concerns that it's hard for some people to stay through the Wednesday morning sessions.

"They felt, in the end, this was a good effort at making the convention a genuine missions and worship event as well as a business event," he said.

Other revisions include the addition of breakout sessions and a worship service.

John Cashwell, pastor of Green Springs Baptist Church in Parkton, is chairman of the committee. He said another important addition is a special call to prayer just before the meeting ends.

The changes are meant to offer inspiration and information, he said.

"We want people to see that the convention is more than just an election," he said.

Cashwell said the additions will give N.C. Baptists an opportunity to receive training and to network with others.

"We hope that people will leave and take something home other than just going to a political event," he said.

BSC President Mike Cummings said he supports the committee's revisions.

"We've got a lot here in North Carolina to put on display," he said. "It's tough to do that in one day."

Cashwell said he will present the changed program to messengers shortly after the meeting begins.

"Like anything that is presented and has to be voted on, it can be challenged," he said.

Cashwell said the committee that endorsed the changes was made up of some who would feel more comfortable in the Carolina Conservative Baptists and some who would prefer the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.

Royston said the committee was well represented by conservatives and moderates.

"There was never, absolutely never, a political agenda in the discussions," he said.

Cashwell said he hopes people will give the revisions a chance. "It's a search to discover how to make it meaningful - not just business, but a time of blessing," he said.

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5/11/2001 12:00:00 AM by Steve DeVane , BR Managing Editor | with 0 comments
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