The SBC Executive Committee met today to conduct business and elect officers. While the committee has 86 seats, it currently is made up of 83 men and women from across Southern Baptist life, and officers are nominated and elected from among that group.
Executive Committee Chair David Sons chose not to seek reelection and the ensuing vote to choose a successor was not cut and dry. The new chair is Louisiana pastor Philip Robertson.
He was elected on the third balloting, after his opponent Russ Barksdale of Arlington, Texas, withdrew. The first two votes were evenly split, but below the 42 votes required to win.
Also during their meeting, the Executive Committee made the decision to move a much-anticipated proposal to amend the SBC constitution along to the full convention for a vote but with a note of concern for messengers related to the proposal.
At last year’s annual meeting, Virginia pastor Mike Law made a motion to have the wording of the SBC constitution changed to specifically state that women cannot have the title of “pastor” of any kind within an SBC-affiliated church.
While the convention statement of faith, the Baptist Faith & Message 2000, already specifies that the role of senior pastor is limited to men only, this proposed amendment would change the governing documents.
The concern is whether moving statement of faith messaging into the governing documents is wise because of the potential of where that could lead with other preferences on how to do church and how to be Southern Baptist.
Messengers to the annual meeting Tuesday and Wednesday will have the opportunity to vote on the proposed amendment. The motion would need to be approved by messengers in two consecutive annual meetings to become official, so if the motion is approved this week, it will then be presented again at the 2024 annual meeting in Indianapolis.
If it is not approved, then a new motion could be proposed and the process would start over again.