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On The One Hundredth Anniversary Of The Executive Committee Of The Southern Baptist Convention

WHEREAS, For its first seven decades, the Southern Baptist Convention carried out its work between annual meetings through numerous ad hoc committees, electing as many as thirty-three committees in a given year; and

WHEREAS, The Convention recognized that such a cumbersome organizational structure was inadequate to accomplish its ministry purposes in the twentieth century; and

WHEREAS, In 1916, a messenger from Texas moved that the Convention “establish one strong Executive Board which shall direct all of the work and enterprises fostered and promoted by this Convention”; and

WHEREAS, Following a year of study, with input from Southern Baptists, many expressing opposition to such centralized power, a proposal was made to establish an Executive Committee with limited authority to help coordinate the Convention’s work; and

WHEREAS, On May 17, 1917, during the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting held in New Orleans, Louisiana, the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention was created; and

WHEREAS, In 1927, the Convention enlarged the Executive Committee’s scope of duties to include acting ad interim on behalf of the Convention and recommending an operating budget for the Southern Baptist Convention each year and the allocation of Cooperative Program funds to SBC entities; and

WHEREAS, Over the years the Executive Committee shepherded the fledgling Cooperative Program; helped avert a Convention-wide financial crisis in the early twentieth century; initiated Bold Mission Thrust, a campaign adopted by the SBC in 1978 “to enable every person in the world to have the opportunity to hear and to respond to the Gospel of Christ by the year 2000”; led in the adoption of the Covenant for a New Century (1995–1997) with its attendant streamlining of SBC entities; appointed numerous advisory councils to broaden representation and participation of people from numerous ethnic minority and language groups within Convention life; and continues to champion the Cooperative Program as the most effective means of mobilizing our churches and extending our cooperative outreach into the twenty-first century; and

WHEREAS, The SBC Organization Manual states, “The Executive Committee continues to exist to minister to the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention by acting for the Convention ad interim in all matters not otherwise provided for in a manner that encourages the cooperation and confidence of the churches, associations, and state conventions and facilitates maximum support for worldwide missions and ministries”; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, June 13–14, 2017, give thanks to God for His providence in the establishment of the Executive Committee one hundred years ago; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we honor the thousands of men and women who have served the Southern Baptist Convention through the “behind the scenes” work of the Executive Committee; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we commend the Executive Committee for almost a century of promotion of the Cooperative Program and its faithful and continued partnership with Southern Baptist churches, SBC entities, associations, state conventions, ethnic minority fellowships, and other affinity groups; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we encourage the Executive Committee to continue to champion support for the worldwide ministries of the cooperating churches of the Southern Baptist Convention until the day of our Lord’s glorious return.