Fla. presidents affirm nat'l marriage statement

by Barbara Denman/Florida Baptist Convention , posted Tuesday, June 23, 2015 (3 years ago)

KEYSTONE HEIGHTS, Fla. (BP) -- The current president and 18 former presidents of the Florida Baptist State Convention have affirmed a statement on biblical marriage and the national implications of same-sex marriage released June 17 by the Southern Baptist Convention's current president, Ronnie Floyd, and 16 of the SBC's presidents since 1980.

James Peoples, president of the Florida convention and pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Keystone Heights, distributed the statement to the former FBSC presidents.

"It was a powerful and clear, yet compassionate statement of our commitment to the Bible as our infallible and unchanging guide," Peoples said. "As the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 states, it is the Holy Bible -- not the U.S. Supreme Court -- that is 'the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried.'"

The marriage statement can be accessed here.

"Any time now the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to issue a landmark decision regarding same-sex marriage," Peoples said. "Public opinion on this issue may be shifting, but the truth of God's Word has not."

The FBSC presidents' affirmation of the marriage statement "simply reiterates [commitment to biblical marriage] and together we stand in unity with what was said nationally. 1 Corinthians 16:14 states, 'Let all that you do be done with love.' It is with that heart and resolve that we affirm this statement on biblical marriage."

Tommy Green, newly elected executive director-treasurer of the Florida Baptist Convention, also affirmed the statement.

"Through conviction and confession we submit to God's Word. This statement articulates in a clear and concise manner the absolute and authoritative plan and purpose of God in marriage," said Green, who served two consecutive terms as FBSC president in 2003 and 2004.

SBC President Ronnie Floyd released the marriage statement during the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting in Columbus, Ohio, in a news conference attended by eight former SBC presidents. In all, Floyd and the SBC's 16 living presidents since 1980 signed the statement.

Former presidents of the Florida Baptist State Convention (and their years of service) affirming the statement are Jerry Passmore, 1984; Bill Coffman, 1987; Bobby Welch, 1988 (who signed the original statement as the 2005-06 SBC president); Guy Sanders, 1991; Ed Johnson, 1992; George Thomasson, 1994; Ken Whitten, 1995; Ted Traylor, 1996; Jerry Garrard, 1998; Ken Alford, 2000; Jay Dennis, 2001; Dwayne Mercer, 2002; Tommy Green, 2003- 2004*; Hayes Wicker, 2005-2006; Willy Rice, 2007-2008; John Cross, 2009-2010; David Uth, 2011-2012; and Timothy Maynard, 2013-2014. Note: In 2003 the FBSC constitution was changed to allow FBSC presidents to serve two consecutive terms.

Barbara Denman is director of communications for the Florida Baptist Convention.
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