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BGCT re-elects BU prof, regent

Nov. 10, 1998

BY ASHLEE ROSS

Contributor

Ashlee_Ross@baylor.edu

HOUSTON--Texas Baptists re-elected by acclamation a Baylor professor and a Baylor regent to the top officer posts Monday at the Baptist General Convention of Texas.

Dr. Russell Dilday, a professor at George W. Truett Theological Seminary, was re-elected to the presidency of the convention, and Baylor regent Jaclanel McFarland was re-elected as first vice president.

'I would like to work through the budgeting process to continue funding the initiatives of the Effective/Efficiency Report,' McFarland said. 'One of those, of course, is for theological education.

'I would like to see the budget for Baylor drastically increased, especially as a minimum back to the funding formula we had in 1989 before the charter change,' McFarland said. 'I think Christian education is a vital mission of the Baptist General Convention of Texas.'

Rudy Sanchez of First Mexican Baptist Church in Dallas nominated McFarland for the first vice presidency.

'We really have seen her outstanding qualities in communicating very strongly and softly to churches and to individuals,' Sanchez said. 'She's has the knack of making everybody feel their rightful place.'

Houston pastor Ed Young was also re-elected without opposition as second vice president.

In addition to the election of officers, messengers passed the controversial constitutional amendment changing the way churches send messengers to the convention.

The amendment, which would add money as a requirement for the number of messengers sent, was passed by more than the required two-thirds majority.

Although there was some discussion and debate over the amendments and budget, some expected controversies did not occur.

Officers expected a challenge to Calvary Baptist Church's messengers because Julie Pennington-Russell, the first senior woman pastor in Texas, is pastor there. This challenge did not occur. Reportedly, fundamentalists will stage a walk-out tomorrow morning.

Questions centering on Truett's funding in the budget were asked from the floor. No amendment was made, however.

'I think the fundamentalists could see they did not have the will of the body and so possibly they just stopped,' McFarland said. 'I am delighted it was a peaceful convention. Obviously there were some questions on some major votes but that's to be expected because it was a true Baptist convention.'

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In his convention address, Dilday urged reconciliation for the convention.

'Personal reconciliation can't really begin at the convention level,' Dilday said. 'It can't really begin as an organized program or strategy. Reformations and revivals don't start at denominational offices or even in congregations. They begin with one person opening up to God and pledging to bring forth a new day.'

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Messengers also approved a budget of $49,735,401. Messengers defeated proposed amendments that would have deleted funding to the Baptist Joint Committee on Public Affairs and reallocated $300,000 designated for administrative costs.

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Higher Call, a music ministry of Baylor's Baptist Student Ministry, performed two songs by Point of Grace at the evening session. The group is Jessica Boehr, a Carrollton freshman; Ashley DeGeorge, a Grapevine sophomore; Jennifer Mier, a Houston sophomore; Taylor Dull, a San Antonio junior, Season Summers, a Tomball junior; Kim Carroll, a Singapore freshman; Carly Belew; a McKinney junior, and Kelly Womack; a Plano sophomore.

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Executive Director James Dunn of the Baptist Joint Committee on Public Affairs was honored with the Distinguished Service Award from the Christian Life Commission for his work on religious liberty.

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Baylor regent emeritus John Baugh was honored by the Texas Missions Foundation at a dinner Monday night.

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The convention celebrated its 150th anniversary with the theme 'Strength from Our Past, Courage for Our Future.' Many messengers dressed in nineteenth-century dress to commemorate the anniversary.

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