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BU prof, regent on BGCT officer slate

Nov. 5, 1997

By Ashlee Ross

Staff Writer for The Baylor Lariat

A university professor and university regent are expected to be elected to two of the top three positions of the Baptist General Convention of Texas (BGCT) next week.

Dr. Russell Dilday, distinguished professor of homiletics at Truett Seminary, is the forerunner for the convention's presidency.

Jaclanel McFarland, a vice chair-elect of the Baylor Board of Regents and Houston attorney, will be nominated for one of the convention's two vice presidential positions.

'It's a very exciting time in the history of the Baptist General Convention of Texas coming up to the next century and organizing our convention to be more efficient in the next millennium,' Dilday said. 'My nomination comes right along with the convention looking to do the Lord's work.'

Dilday said he supports approval of the Effectiveness/Efficiency Report, which will come before the assembly for approval. The report is a series of recommendations reinforcing the importance of the autonomy of each local Baptist congregation, continuing cooperative efforts with other Baptist entities (Southern Baptist Convention and Cooperative Baptist Fellowship) and encouraging the BGCT to publish its own Sunday School literature.

'Unfortunately, the SBC, under the current leadership, has been moving away from traditional Baptist ideas,' Dilday said. 'Right now some of the leaders of the SBC have the idea that the convention is at the top and the churches are down in the structure. It's really the opposite and Texas Baptists realize this.'

There is no official tie between the BGCT and the SBC, and any cooperative work between the two conventions is voluntary.

President Robert B. Sloan Jr. said he supports Dilday's nomination for president of the BGCT.

'I think Russell Dilday is a great choice,' Sloan said. 'I personally asked Russell if he would be willing to be nominated. He's certainly the person that we support.'

Dr. Jess Fletcher, chancellor of Baptist-affiliated Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, will nominate Dilday for the presidency. He said Dilday has 'been in the middle of our lives for so long' and is an ideal candidate for the position

'Any review of his credentials indicates he's the best-prepared man among us,' Fletcher said.

Dilday, the former president of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, is currently the interim pastor at Park Cities Baptist Church in Dallas.

Dr. Phil Lineberger, pastor of Williams Trace Baptist Church in Sugarland and former BGCT president, said he will nominate McFarland for the first vice president position.

'Jaclanel is a bright, younger part of the Baptist community,' Lineberger said. 'She is a thinker, an activist and a good, strong leader in Texas Baptist life.'

Ed Hogan, pastor of Jersey Village Baptist Church, will be nominated for the second vice president slot.

'He's a young Baptist leader who's been very involved in the BGCT,' Lineberger said.

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