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Resolution Regarding The Status Of Vocational Lay Church Workers

WHEREAS, The Southern Baptist Convention, in session in St. Louis in 1947 passed the following petition:

WHEREAS, Hundreds of young men have felt called to give their lives to full-time religious service in the fields of Religious Education and Sacred Music, and

WHEREAS, They do not have official standing in the eyes of the denomination, the civil authorities, and other agencies, thereby suffering handicaps in status and in privileges accorded to other full-time religious workers,

THEREFORE, The Inter-Seminary Conference of the Southern, Southwestern, and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminaries in session at Seminary Hill, Fort Worth, Texas, January 7, 1947, does hereby petition the Southern Baptist Convention to adopt the following statement:

“This Convention hereby recognizes Religious Education and Sacred Music as religious vocations, suggests that the churches officially certify those men who give evidence of a divine call and purpose to give full time to these vocations, recommends that they be given such consideration as this status merits, and requests that the names of those so certified be printed in its annual directory.”

Be it RESOLVED, By the Southern Baptist Convention in session in Miami, Florida, May 14-18, 1952, that (1) We petition the Selective Service Headquarters in Washington, D.C., to authorize the same deferment classification for our full-time denominationally-certified, vocational lay religious workers as that accorded similar workers in other denominations, if the individual so desires such classification, and (2) That we also petition the Selective Service Headquarters to give the same classification to our students in colleges, seminaries, and training schools who are preparing for full-time lay religious work and who are properly certified by their denomination, if the individual so desires such classification.

Be it further RESOLVED, That this Convention request the Southern Baptist Commission on Chaplains to represent this Convention regularly in dealing with Selective Service Headquarters on all matters of deferment.