I wanted to give you a update of the highlights of the SBC Annual Meeting. I have been going to the Annual Meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention on and off since 1990. I left thinking that this is one of the most historic meetings that I have ever attended for several reasons.
1. In the past the SBC has been considered an Old Man’s meeting. Just looking around it seemed to me that at least 40-45% of this year’s attendees’ were under 40 years of age with many of those in their twenty’s. It is a positive thing that younger people were engaged in the process. It’s my prayer that more young people will become engaged at the Associational level.
2. We left St Louis in Unity as a Convention! The president election could have caused us to go away divided. There were three Godly men who were nominated to serve and after the first vote there was runoff between Steve Gaines and JD Greer. After two votes there was still no clear winner (By-laws says that the winner must have a 50% plus 1 majority) right before the vote was to take place JD Greer in a show of unity humbly and graciously removed his name from consideration. Greer then made a motion that Gaines be elected by Acclamation.
3. Immediately following the election of Gaines as the 61st President of the SBC, Dr. Ted Traylor preached the Convention Sermon. His text was Psalm 133 Behold how good and pleasant it is for the brethren to dwell together in unity! No one but God could have orchestrated the events leading up to the Word that Ted passionately preached. This was without a doubt a God moment.
4. Several resolutions were presented and passed including resolutions that addressed the Orlando Tragedy, Biblical Sexuality, Support of Israel, Alzheimer’s/Dementia/Caregiving and the Church, Women and the Draft, and others. The one that has had the most Media coverage is the resolution On Sensitivity and Unity Regarding the Confederate Flag. One may argue that it is not an issue that we should even address and that was my first thought. But I met an African American Pastor from Virginia that with tears in his eyes told me how much the resolution meant to him and that it would help him win the lost. http://www.sbc.net/resolutions/search/results.asp?query=2016
5. Some may ask you about the SBC helping build Mosques in America. Many of the articles that I have read are very misleading. First, the Southern Baptist Convention is not in any way building mosques. Secondly two entities of our Convention, the ERLC and the IMB has joined 16 other faith group in an amicus brief. The brief stated, "the denial to build a mosque represents a potential threat to the free exercise rights of each of the amici represented here and is an affront to our nation's commitment to religious liberty for all. The following is a link to ERLC President Russel Moore answering a question concerning the issue:
6. Several times throughout the Pastor’s Conference and the convention thousands of people were on their knees and faces before God praying for Revival and an Awakening in our churches!