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Resolution On State Papers

Jack Harwell (Ga.) presented the report of the Committee on Baptist State Papers, in behalf of Chairman H. Franklin Paschall (Tenn.), and moved its adoption. The motion passed.


Some of the most illustrious names in Southern Baptist history are directly and significantly related to the promotion of Baptist state papers. Who can forget the ringing call of George W. Truett, L. R. Scarborough, E. C. Routh, and Louie D. Newton to Southern Baptists to support Baptist state papers with increasing fervor and deepening devotion? Your Committee on Baptist State Papers considers it an honor and privilege as well as an awesome responsibility to follow in their train. They believed, and so do we, that the work of Southern Baptists will prosper to that extent it is articulated and supported by these papers. It is still true that no other publication among us can do what Baptist state papers have done, are doing, and, pray God will always do.

Whatever vital issue confronts our Convention, it is clarified and expounded in the Baptist state papers. Beloved, let no one be mistaken, the influence of these papers is far reaching and constructive.

From its beginning, the Committee on Baptist State Papers has been concerned with circulation. The combined circulation of the nineteen Baptist state papers in 1940 was 190,683; in 1945 it had increased to 547,254; by 1955 to 1,157,444; and by 1965 to 1,540,260. In 1976 the total circulation was 1,852,826. The goal of two million readers by 1980 gives us a challenge which we must face in this Convention. The best response we can make to this challenging goal is to get Baptist state papers into more church budgets. Every church which includes its Baptist state paper in the budget prospers from it. Louie D. Newton has said to Baptists of Georgia that if a church will include The Christian Index in its budget for one year, and if at the end of that year the pastor and the people feel that it has not been worthwhile, if they will send him the bill, he will pay what it has cost the church. His testimony is that he has never been asked to pay a bill.

Your Committee on Baptist State Papers, therefore, recommends that:
(1) We hold before us the goal of two million in circulation by 1980;

We profit from the readership survey which is now underway by the
Research Services Department of the Sunday School Board;
(3) This committee be continued to study the results of the survey and to make further recommendations for the improvement and enhancement of the ministry of Baptist state papers.
H. Franklin Paschall, Chairman
Glen Braswell
Richard Jackson
Julian Pentecost
Andrew W. Tampling
James L. Sullivan, ex officio