Messengers to the 2022 SBC Annual Meeting in Anaheim requested more opportunities to make motions, ask questions and debate issues.
The 2023 Committee on Order of Business listened and committed the majority of this year’s Tuesday afternoon session to handling a variety of business items, including an introduction of 20 additional motions and the adoption of the first set of resolutions (read more here).
Several ballot votes
Along with the election of president and nominations of three candidates for first vice president, messengers experienced something no other set of messengers have experienced — appeals for reinstatement by recently disaffiliated churches.
Three churches — Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California; Fern Creek Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky; and Freedom Church in Vero Beach, Florida — were among five deemed “not in friendly cooperation” with the Southern Baptist Convention by the SBC Executive Committee in February.
The EC voted to disaffiliate with Saddleback and Fern Creek due to concerns over women serving as pastors. Freedom Church received its disaffiliation notice because of reports that it did not properly handle an allegation of sexual abuse by hiring a pastor who had been “credibly accused” of improper actions.
Following the three-minute messages from church representatives and the three-minute rebuttals by a representative of the Credentials Committee and/or the Executive Committee, messengers voted after each presentation on whether to uphold the EC’s decision for disaffiliation or to reinstate the church.
Results of the votes related to the appeals process as well as how the election of first vice president turned out will be shared during the early part of Wednesday morning’s session.
Also taking place Wednesday morning will be the report from the Abuse Reform Implementation Task Force, which was rescheduled from its original Tuesday, 5 p.m. slot because the afternoon session ran late.
A few audio glitches contributed to the delay but the conventional hall full of more than 11,000 of the 12,500-plus registered messengers seemed to make the best of it and demonstrated what several described as a sense of being in good spirits overall.
Two lighthearted moments surfaced late in the afternoon.
A little girl behind microphone 7 took her moment to shine each time the cameras came her way. As the various messengers at that microphone voiced their motions, she quietly showcased her fun expressions and movements .
And when an Oklahoma messenger made the final motion of the day — to consider hosting the 2028 annual meeting in Maui — she received thunderous applause and cheers.
For more on the business and events surrounding #SBC23, click here.