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Truett stands to gain $1 mil from BGCT

Oct. 27, 2000

Representatives will vote on allocation on Monday

BY JOHN HALL

Reporter

Messengers to the Baptist General Convention of Texas will take the final vote Monday and Tuesday in Corpus Christi on a proposal to reallocate about $1 million to George W. Truett Theological Seminary.

A number of Baylor employees will be representing their respective churches at the convention.

'This convention is especially significant because of the major budget decisions that will be made,' Dr. Donald Schmeltekopf, provost and vice president for academic affairs, said. 'As a messenger, it is important to me to support the changes that will be proposed by the BGCT Executive Board regarding the budget reallocations.'

Dr. Betty Talbert, director of spiritual formation at Truett, and Schmeltekopf said they believed the proposed budget, which would take $4.3 million from the six Southern Baptist Convention seminaries and give it to the three BGCT seminaries, including Truett, would pass after some debate.

'There will be much debate, and there will probably be a variety of amendments proposed,' Schmeltekopf said. 'Some amendments will be aimed to protect just Southwestern Seminary, and those will have some appeal, since most Texas pastors are graduates of Southwestern. But in the end, I think the changes will be passed as proposed by the executive board and probably by a good margin.'

The vote, which will take place Monday afternoon, is the final step in the approval process.

Part-time lecturer Louise Treadwell, Talbert and Schmeltekopf said they would vote for the proposed budget but disagreed about what effect the convention will have on the relationship between the BGCT and the SBC.

'I expect this convention to weaken the ties with the SBC in all areas except missions,' Talbert said. 'I feel this movement away from the SBC is very sad because of the great debt we all owe to what the SBC once was.

'However, in light of the theological positions and actions of the current SBC there is, I feel moderate Texas Baptists have no choice but to strengthen their ties with the CBF [Cooperative Baptist Fellowship] and move away from the SBC.'

Schmeltekopf said he had a different opinion on the subject.

'Since relations between the BGCT and the SBC have not been favorable for some time, I don't see this convention and its actions making much difference,' he said.

The reallocation proposal is the result of a report by the BGCT study committee that said the SBC seminaries were not teaching traditional Baptist values. SBC seminary presidents were angered by this proposal, calling the study unfair. Both organizations have mailed statements to prominent members who will be at the convention in an attempt to persuade them to vote in accordance with their organization's stance.