New president to be elected at SBC meeting
May 10 2002 by Art Toalston , Baptist Press

New president to be elected at SBC meeting | Friday, May 10, 2002
  • A continuing emphasis on strengthening families, with messengers to learn details about the first-ever convention-wide family rally on June 19, 2003, in Phoenix, Ariz. - the day after the 2003 SBC annual meeting there. The rally is among the initiatives of the SBC's two-year-old Council on Family.
  • Introduction of a new thrust, "Empowering Kingdom Growth (EKG)," described as a vision for what Jesus taught and called for - a concentration on the kingdom of God. The work of an eight-member Cooperation Task Force of state convention and SBC entity leaders, the EKG thrust has been endorsed by the Southern Baptist Association of State Convention Executive Directors and the SBC Executive Committee.

    This year's convention will continue the practice started last year of beginning the final session on Wednesday afternoon at 3 p.m. and ending around 6 p.m., replacing the Wednesday evening session. Merritt said the change drew a great response from messengers and bolstered attendance at the closing session.

    Merritt's presidential address is scheduled for 11 a.m., June 11, while Claude Thomas, pastor of the Dallas/Fort Worth-area First Baptist Church, Euless, will deliver the convention sermon at 8:30 p.m. that night.

    Dayna Curry and Heather Mercer, who were among eight foreign aid workers held by the Taliban from August until their rescue just before Thanksgiving, will address messengers during the 10 a.m. Tuesday SBC Executive Committee report.

    The International Mission Board report is slated for 11:15 a.m. Wednesday; North American Mission Board, 2:55 p.m. Tuesday; LifeWay Christian Resources, 7:25 p.m. Tuesday; Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, 4:55 p.m. Wednesday; Annuity Board, 10:35 a.m. Wednesday; the six SBC seminaries, 3:50 p.m. Tuesday; and Woman's Missionary Union, 3:15 p.m. Wednesday.

    The week prior to the SBC, the annual Crossover evangelistic effort coordinated by North American Mission Board and Missouri Baptists will seek to penetrate metro St. Louis with the gospel. Hundreds of adults and teenagers will participate in mission opportunities throughout the region.

    Messengers wanting to introduce resolutions for consideration must do so before the start of the Tuesday afternoon session. Resolutions should be sent before the annual meeting to the Resolutions Committee c/o Convention Relations, Executive Committee, 901 Commerce St., Nashville, TN 37203.

    The registration of messengers will open at 4 p.m. on June 9 and at 8 a.m. on Monday through Wednesday.

    Messengers must be credentialed by their respective churches.

    Most state conventions do not automatically send the cards to churches. The churches must request the messenger cards from their state convention offices.

    If a messenger comes to the meeting without a properly completed card, the person must go before the convention's Credentials Committee. The Credentials Committee will open after 8:30 a.m. on June 11. Any messenger who does not have a messenger card should bring a letter from the church and meet with the Credentials Committee.

    The convention does not register "alternate messengers."

    Additional information about the SBC annual meeting can be found at

  • Friday, May 10, 2002

    New president to be elected at SBC meeting

    By Art Toalston Baptist Press

    ST. LOUIS - Southern Baptists will elect a new president and focus on missions, family life and vision for the kingdom of God during their June 11-12 annual meeting in St. Louis.

    Only one presidential nominee has been announced, Dallas-area pastor Jack Graham of Prestonwood Baptist Church, to succeed James Merritt, an Atlanta-area pastor who has served the maximum two consecutive one-year terms.

    The election will take place during the afternoon of June 11, in St. Louis' America's Center, site of the two-day SBC annual meeting and various auxiliary meetings such as the June 9-10 Pastors' Conference and the Woman's Missionary Union Annual Meeting and Missions Celebration.

    The SBC's emphasis on missions likely will be fueled by the June 11 appearance of Dayna Curry and Heather Mercer who were arrested last year by the Taliban rulers of Afghanistan for sharing their faith - and by the convention's closing speaker Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ.

    "And I think we're going to see once again some very dynamic reports from both the International Mission Board and the North American Mission Board," said Merritt, the outgoing president.

    Through a missions emphasis fashioned around the SBC theme of "The Highest Power for the Greatest Task," Merritt said he has been praying that the convention "will make a fresh commitment to evangelism and to missions to reach people for Christ."

    "I will always believe that missions, as much as anything else, is what really distinguishes us from so many other denominations. It's one thing to say you believe in salvation by grace through faith alone, but if you really believe it, then who should have more of a passion for souls than Southern Baptists?"

    Also ahead at the SBC annual meeting:

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    5/10/2002 12:00:00 AM by Art Toalston , Baptist Press | with 0 comments
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