GREENSBORO, N.C. (BP)--In an annual meeting marked by repeated calls for cooperation in evangelism and missions, Southern Baptists June 13-14 in Greensboro, N.C., elected a new president, stressed increased giving through the Cooperative Program and remembered the late Adrian Rogers, whose widow urged the denomination to “graciously work for unity in the body of Christ.”
|A sign outside the Greensboro Coliseum welcomes more than 11,000 messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting and other related meetings June 11-14 in Greensboro, N.C. Photo by Matt Miller |
The meeting marked the final one for SBC President Bobby Welch, whose “Everyone Can” emphasis set a goal of baptizing 1 million in one year. The 12-month push began last October and runs through the final week of September, which marks the end of the SBC's church year.
For the second straight year, more than 11,000 messengers attended the meeting. The unofficial total of 11,639 would be barely under last year's total of 11,641.
“We will baptize a million in a year. I don’t know if it will be this year. [But] we could baptize a million this year if you’d get up and get out of here and go to work," an optimistic Welch said to loud applause on the final night, which featured a musical finale featuring the Bellevue Baptist Church choir and the "Everyone Can" People's Mass Choir, as well as some 75 large Scripture-themed banners displayed throughout the Greensboro Coliseum.
|Three stacks of orange ballots represent votes cast in the presidential election on June 13 at the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Greensboro, N.C. SBC messengers cast 8,961 ballots to elect their new president, Frank Page of Taylors, S.C. Photo by Matt Miller |
In what some considered a surprise, South Carolina pastor Frank Page was elected SBC president on the first ballot over two nominees. His election came amidst a movement in the denomination for a greater emphasis on Cooperative Program giving and in broadening involvement among conservatives in the appointment process. Page’s church, First Baptist Church in Taylors, S.C., gave 12.4 percent to the Cooperative Program during the most recent church year. Read More