The retirement of Porter Wroe Routh on July 31, 1979 marks the climax of almost 28 years of distinguished service as executive secretary-treasurer of the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Born in Lockhart, Texas on July 14, 1911 into a renowned Baptist family, he has gathered an abundance of denominational experience. His father was himself an eminent Baptist pastor, editor, and denominational leader. In his home the names and faces of learned and accomplished Baptist statesmen were commonplace. This was God’s way of preparing Porter for the lofty service he was to perform for Southern Baptists.
He attended the Southern Baptist Convention in 1939 and has not missed a single one since that date. His service to the denomination includes:
Instructor in Journalism, Oklahoma Baptist University, 1939
Secretary of Brotherhood and Promotion, Baptist General Convention of
Editor, Baptist Messenger, Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma,
Secretary of Survey, Statistics, and Information, Sunday School Board,
Senior Secretary, Southern Baptist Convention, 1945-1951
Treasurer, Southern Baptist Convention, 1951-1979
Executive Secretary-Treasurer, Southern Baptist Convention Executive
During his years of service with the Executive Committee, the number of churches has increased from 28,289 in 1951 to more than 35,000 in 1979. Total membership has increased from 7,373,498 to more than 13 million.
Mission giving through the churches has also significantly increased:
Total mission gifts from $37.2 million to $318.3 million
Total Cooperative Program from $21.5 million to $150 million
Southern Baptist Convention portion of the Cooperative Program from $8.1
million to $57.4 million
WHEREAS, Porter Wroe Routh has proved his personal dedication to Jesus Christ, his personal discipline as an accomplished administrator and leader, and his personal loyalty to Baptist ideas and causes; and
WHEREAS, Dr. Routh has worked and served as a Christian layman and is a worthy exemplar for other devoted churchmen; and
WHEREAS, Dr. Routh has been supremely faithful to the mission and ministry of the local Baptist churches in which he has held membership, and in every respect has been an ideal servant of these churches;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, That the Southern Baptist Convention in session in Houston, Texas, June 12, 1979 express gratitude to God for the life and leadership of Porter Wroe Routh; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That his resolution stand as a tribute to the life’s work of our colleague in Kingdom service, and as an acknowledgement that Southern Baptists are better people because of his work among them.
RESOLUTION ON DISAVOWING POLITICAL ACTIVITY IN SELECTING OFFICERS
WHEREAS, This is a Convention of Christians serving as messengers from Christ’s churches under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, and
WHEREAS, There have been numerous public reports of political-type meetings and materials for the purpose of predetermining the election of the officers of this Convention;
BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED, That this Convention go on record as disavowing overt political activity and organization as a method of selection of its officers; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this Convention urge its messengers and churches to pray for guidance in the priesthood of the believer in all matters of decision and to exercise distinctly Christian actions in all deliberations.