The February gathering of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee kicked off Feb. 21 with more than six hours of meetings, most of which related to reports and discussions related to planning for upcoming budget needs and reviewing the remaining referred motions.
EC members also ratified the Feb. 1 decision by the officers to name Willie McLaurin interim president and CEO. Read more about his inaugural address here.
SBC President Ed Litton and various entity leaders had opportunity to share with the group throughout the day. Read Litton’s challenge to the EC here.
Along with the heaviness of some of the business items and detailed discussions related to all that is happening at and with the EC, the consistent response from the membership was the sense of peace felt throughout the meeting rooms.
“The tone is different,” said EC chairman Rolland Slade. And it has been since 16 members met for a lay renewal time in Oklahoma in January, he noted.
Prior to the opening of yesterday’s meeting, 66 of the 68 members spent two hours in concentrated prayer. Not present were Archalena Coats of Florida and Mike Stone of Georgia. See the full list of current members at the end of this article.
‘Lay renewal’ experience
The prayer experience turned into a time of repentance, forgiveness and healing, members shared. They gathered privately and spent time in corporate prayer and sharing with the full group as well as in small groups sharing privately.
Several noted that while they know disagreements and debate will likely happen during the meeting, they also are confident they can remain civil and respectful of each other now — that they can disagree and remain friends.
EC member Mike Keahbone from Oklahoma referenced the healing that has taken place as he shared Scripture and a prayer to open the first plenary session.
“The Lord is at work in our Executive Committee,” he said. “We are not perfect. We are a bit broken but God is putting us back together again. … (We had some) special moments in the prayer session.
“We’ve had a hard season, but God’s not through with us yet. What I saw this afternoon comes out of Ephesians 4 — ‘Live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.’”