Biblical Recorder:BSC candidates hold various views
October 30 2003 by Steve DeVane , BR Managing Editor

Biblical Recorder:BSC candidates hold various views

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By Steve DeVane

BR Managing Editor

The six candidates for the Baptist State Convention's (BSC) top three offices share some similarities, but also have differences, according to their responses to a series of written questions asked by the Biblical Recorder.The candidates were asked to answer eight questions, each in 100 words or less. The full responses of the candidates will be printed in the Nov. 1 issue of the Recorder and in a special edition that will be available at the BSC annual meeting in Winston-Salem next month.All six say they will in some way try to work with people on the other side of the theological aisle.Two of the candidates, David Horton and Brian Davis, indicated in their responses that they consider themselves conservatives. David Hughes, Raymond Earp and Ken Massey said they are moderates.Phyllis Foy did not indicate whether she considers herself a conservative or a moderate, but she has been endorsed by Conservative Carolina Baptists.Horton, pastor of Gate City Baptist Church in Greensboro, decided to run for BSC president rather than seeking a second term as BSC second vice president. He said he thinks it would do the BSC good to "see some fresh faces alongside those who have served the convention so faithfully.""North Carolina Baptists know my track record in working with other Baptists who are different than me," Horton said. "I will work with other officers and committees to see that a variety of Baptists are represented who desire to carry on the purposes of the BSC in a manner that honors Christ."David Hughes, pastor of First Baptist Church in Winston-Salem and a candidate for BSC president, said he worked for the passage of the "shared leadership" proposal several years ago and remains committed to the idea that conservatives and moderates can work together."As convention president, I will seek a balance in 'moderates' and 'conservatives' appointed for leadership," he said. "I will seek through word and deed to cultivate an environment of mutual respect and fairness."Earp, who is running for first vice president, said he was disappointed that the shared leadership plan failed."I feel that for the sake of the convention both groups must work together to listen and to respect each other," he said. "I will work toward that goal."Foy, who is also seeking the office of first vice president that is now held by her husband, said she is for unity."I am for anything that will bring us together, that will not cause us to take our eyes off the Lord's leadership," she said. "I believe we can accomplish far greater service together."Davis, pastor of First Baptist Church in East Flat Rock, said he would take steps to ensure "that the most qualified and cooperative men and women in Baptist life would have opportunities to serve our convention." He also said he'd like to see younger people involved.Massey said he'd like to see people nominated based on their maturity and their track record of commitment to the BSC and Christ."I believe we should elect persons who are willing to work across 'party lines,'" he said.In responses that might surprise some, all three conservative candidates indicated some level of support for Plan C, the only one of the BSC's four giving options that sends money to the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. Two of the moderate candidates, Hughes and Massey, indicated they would favor changes to the current system. Earp said the plans are important.Hughes said that even thought he has supported the giving plans in the past, the BSC's current financial crisis shows that the BSC's budget system is broken."Whether in multiple plans or in one unified plan, our budget must allocate adequate funds for our state convention to address the growing needs of North Carolina Baptists and protect the right of North Carolina Baptists to give to the SBC or CBF as they choose."Horton said his stance on Plan C is best reflected by the report of a study committee that found that Plan C does not violate the BSC constitution. The committee's report was in response to a motion from last year's BSC meeting.Foy said she wishes N.C. Baptists could agree on a unified plan. "But if the four giving plans that we presently have, including Plan C, will keep us together, then I am for and will support them," she said.Earp said each church has the freedom of choice in the current system.Massey said that no matter how many giving plans the BSC has, its financial future will never be stronger that the trust and fairness of its polity. He said he supports the institutions that receive funding through plans B and C."I also support a renewed emphasis on unified giving for mission and ministry," he said. "I believe a prayerful reduction to two plans, and possibly one, could strengthen our common work and honor our diverse convictions."Davis said the churches he has served have supported the BSC through plans A and D, which both send money to the SBC."I have respected the decisions of the messengers to previous conventions to establish additional giving plans and will continue to respect what the messengers of future conventions decide concerning all of the plans," he said.When asked what recent BSC officer most closely resembles the way they would hope to serve, three candidates - two conservatives and a moderate - mentioned Greg Mathis. Mathis, who began a streak of conservative BSC presidents when he was elected in 1995, strongly supported the shared leadership plan that was designed to make it near certain that conservatives and moderates would have equal power.Horton, Davis and Hughes included Mathis in their response to the question.Horton and Davis also mentioned Mac Brunson, Mike Cummings and Jerry Pereira, the three conservative presidents elected since Mathis.Hughes also mentioned Mike Queen, who served as BSC General Board president while Mathis was BSC president. Their efforts to cooperate became known as the "Greg and Mike Show."Earp and Massey both named Queen as an officer who resembles the way they hope to serve. Earp also included Cummings, who was also known for his cooperative spirit.Foy said, "I would have to say my husband, Bob Foy, because I know his heart and we share the same desire to get our convention refocused on missions and discipleship and unity."The candidates also shared why they decided to run, what they see as the BSC biggest challenges, the reasons they think the BSC is great and the ministries they feel are "mission-critical" for the BSC.| Home | NewsOpinion | Baptist Life |

10/30/2003 11:00:00 PM by Steve DeVane , BR Managing Editor | with 0 comments

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