Committee on Committees & its long-term impact
Ronnie Floyd is president of the Southern Baptist Convention and senior pastor of Cross Church in northwest Arkansas. For the names of the SBC Committee on Committees announced today, click here.
ST. LOUIS (BP) -- Since last September, we have been working to secure our 2016 Committee on Committees of the Southern Baptist Convention. This process requires due diligence because it is one of the, if not the, most significant long-term tasks of the president of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Just like in our nation
When we elect the next president of the United States, we are also embracing the appointments he or she is privileged to make. These appointments are not just for the U.S. Supreme Court, but also for their staff, cabinet and many other positions across America and the world. This is serious business because it has a long-term effect upon our nation, many times for generations.
The same is true when the Southern Baptist Convention elects a president. You are also embracing the appointments he makes. While there are several appointments I have the privilege of making, the Committee on Committees appointments determine the future of the trustees of our boards and institutions.
When the conservative resurgence began in the Southern Baptist Convention in 1979, it all began with the election of Dr. Adrian Rogers as president. His appointments and the successive presidents helped bring about the conservative resurgence in our convention.
This process cannot be minimized or conducted without the highest level of commitment. Otherwise, the end result will not be good for our convention of churches.
The role of the Committees on Committees
The Committee on Committees, with two members from each of the 34 states and regions qualified for representation, has the responsibility to appoint the Committee on Nominations. The Committee on Nominations has far-reaching influence on Southern Baptist life. They recommend the trustees of our 11 convention entities and our Executive Committee to the Southern Baptist Convention.
In receiving nominations for the Committee on Committees from across our convention, we began in September to work through our processes of evaluating and examining candidates. After hours of meetings, countless phone calls, continual research and due diligence, we completed this task last week. Prayerfully, within the bylaws that guide this process, we are placing some wonderful Christians and Southern Baptists before you.
My commitment to diversity
Twenty percent of our Southern Baptist churches are non-white churches. To my knowledge and research, our appointments to the Committee on Committees last year were the most ethnically diverse we have ever made. This year’s appointments are even more diverse, not only in ethnicity but also in gender. Of the 68 persons who comprise the 2016 Committee on Committees, 22 percent will be non-white. Additionally, over 26 percent of these appointments are women.
The committee’s work begins today
This entire committee will work together to determine the two very best people at this time from their represented state or region to serve on the Committee on Nominations, at least one of whom must not be employed full-time by or retired from a church. After working through this process between now and our 2016 convention, they will meet together in St. Louis on June 13 to determine their final recommendations. On Tuesday afternoon, June 14, they will recommend to our convention the Committee on Nominations. After this process is voted on by our convention and if the persons are affirmed, the Committee on Nominations will begin their work to recommend trustees of our SBC entities and Executive Committee at the 2017 Southern Baptist Convention in Phoenix.
Dr. Willy Rice will serve as chairman of the 2016 Committee on Committees. He is the senior pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Clearwater, Fla. Dr. Rice is a gifted leader and has served in many areas of our Southern Baptist family. Most recently, he served as the president of our 2015 SBC Pastors’ Conference. Assisting Dr. Rice will be Dr. Ed Litton, senior pastor of Redemption Church in Mobile, Ala. Dr. Litton has a great passion for God and has also served our convention as president of our SBC Pastors’ Conference. As chairman, Dr. Rice will chart the work of the Committee on Committees and both he and Dr. Litton will lead these 68 people through their assignment in an exceptional manner.
Pray for these two men and our entire 2016 Committee on Committees for the Lord’s guidance in their role to help shape our SBC entities in reaching the nation and the world for Christ.