The Missouri Baptist Convention held its annual meeting this past Monday and Tuesday in Branson. Here a few observations and ruminations.
- The host city, Branson, was a great host city. There was plenty to do and the Branson Convention Center was across the street from Branson Landing and in close proximity to many eating options. I saw no long waits at any of the restaurants.
- I was nominated to the Missouri Baptist Historical Commission, and as a nominee, I attended the new trustee orientation. Augie Boto, now retired general counsel for the SBC Executive Committee, conducted the training. Mr. Boto is awesome, and this kind of training should be attended by all new trustees. It was eye opening, and helped me understand the seriousness of being appointed to a commission or a board of trustees. The Missouri Baptist Convention gets an A+ for offering this training.
- I was sitting behind three men who were frantically texting during the orientation. If you’re going to text in a room full of people, please be smart and leave your phone on the table. I’ve forgotten what they were texting, but it was something about Southwest Baptist University. The older man beside me was also noticing the texting. When we left, he grinned at me and said, “They’re going to find out like I did 20 years ago, most of this stuff works itself out.” The old man gets an A+ for wisdom.
- I did not get to attend the pastors’ conference, but the lineup of speakers featured some heavyweights. A+ to the president of the pastors conference for getting some great preachers.
- The convention moved along smoothly. The only miscellaneous business in the Monday session was a motion to reject the resolution from the SBC in Birmingham which affirmed using critical race theory as a tool, but DID NOT give critical race theory the authority of scripture. The motion was ruled out of order because “The motion was in the nature of a resolution because it seeks to express an opinion.” He would have been better off submitting a resolution. I wish someone would conduct a training on Robert’s Rules of Order and how to submit motions. I have sympathy for those who work hard on writing their motions, only to have them tossed.
- The big kerfuffle at the annual meeting was Southwest Baptist University. The wife of former Southwest Baptist Professor Clint Bass took to the microphone during the Q&A time after The Southwest Baptist report, and asked President Eric Turner if he regretted firing her husband. His answer, “Respectfully, no.” She then asked President Turner to enumerate her husband’s fireable offenses. President Turner did not go into great detail, but did offer a few general offenses. Mrs. Bass gets a C- for bad form. I understand there are bruised feelings, but there was no purpose for putting President Turner on the spot except embarrassment. President Turner gets an A+ for remaining cool, calm, and respectful during a tense encounter.
- The President of Missouri Baptist College gets an A- for his obvious relief at not having to answer the same questions as President Turner. His report came after the Southwest Baptist Report and the relieved look on his face was evident.
The annual meeting was generally calm, considering past Missouri Baptist Annual Meetings. Branson was awesome and I’m glad they’ve decided to hold the annual meeting in Branson again in two years.