December 1997


The 1997 session of the BGCT was a watershed for Baptist life in Texas.

This editorial appeared in Louisville, Kentucky’s The Courier-Journal.

The on-going witch hunt at Louisville’s Southern Baptist Theological Seminary has taken a sad, even sadistic turn.

A Candid Look at the Austin Convention

It is time for Texas Baptists to “cut through the fat,” to “put all the cards on the table” and to “tell it like it is.”
Find Out For Yourself!
By Charlie McLaughlin
The passing of the Efficiency and Effectiveness Committee recommendations by the messengers to the 1997 annual meeting of the Baptist General Convention of Texas was a historic moment for Texas Baptists.
At the BGCT annual meeting in Austin, messengers were once again bombarded with the same old party lies about Texas Baptists Committed and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship that fundamentalists have been spouting for years, and I have grown agitated enough about it to respond.
With conservatives firmly in control of the 15.6 million-member Southern Baptist Convention, at least two moderate state groups took steps this fall to declare greater independence from national leaders.
Offering what he called a “gift” to “people like you who were my role models,” Grant Teaff gave more than 1,100 people attending the annual breakfast of Texas Baptists Committed three keys for being better.
The following are quotes from Reginald Mcdonough, executive director of the Baptist General Association of Virginia.
Angry conservative Baptists in Texas are moving toward forming their own convention after a string of stinging defeats at the annual meeting of the moderate-controlled Baptist General Convention of Texas.
Texas Baptists, meeting at their annual convention, voted to follow their understanding of the Apostle Paul when he wrote I Corinthians 12:31, “yet show I unto you a more excellent way.” (KJV)

Speech by Betty Rutledge at the BGCT meeting in Austin, Messenger from North Baptist Church, McKinney

The Effectiveness/Efficiency Committee has been given the challenge of dealing with a tragic reality that someone in Baptist life has moved off true center in cooperative sharing of the Gospel.
“I have appealed to Southern Baptist leaders not to chide Texas Baptists for our determination to give our churches and their leaders freedom to make the decisions they believe are best for them in reaching out to do mission work in the world.
Wade’s Way
By Robert Newell
I have enthusiastically supported the Effectiveness and Efficiency process, as well as its report and its recommendations.


“There seems to be an effort by some national Southern Baptist leaders to push people into conformity. They say you can’t be a real Baptist if you don’t line up with their beliefs.”

Quoting E.Y. Mullins, “You can be my brother without having to be my twin brother.”

“The current leadership of the SBC is pulling in a direction that most Baptists in Texas do not see as authentically Baptist.”

“That’s what happened in the SBC, hard-line, right-wing fundamentalists are in control and don’t want to make room for others.”

“I much favor the way that Texas Baptists are going. I feel like that in the challenges we have, that if this convention in Texas is going to help our churches do the best job possible, then these steps (Effectiveness/Efficiency Committee recommendations)
we’re taking will position us to do that.”

“As I’ve watched the work of those who are now in control of
SBC agencies, it appears to me that they have a faulty view of what denominational and convention organization is about. They seem to view Baptist polity as a pyramid at the top of which
they sit as leaders who tell other Baptist entities what to believe and how to do their work. But this is contrary to what Baptists over the centuries have understood about their church and denominational relationship.”





“By this action (Effectiveness/Efficiency Recommendations), they essentially become the ninth largest denomination in America. What they are doing, effectively, is becoming a self-contained denominational body that is related to the SBC almost as an auxiliary. The result will be about an 8.9 on the ecclesiastical Richer scale. It’s just that significant.”

Bill Leonard, Dean of the Wake Forest University
Divinity School in North Carolina.


Editors note: The following is a quote from David Carpenter from an ABP story. He and his wife Mary are reportedly resigning their positions as International Mission Board missionaries to begin a new missionary organization called
“All Peoples” to assist local churches in sending

“What the IMB is doing needs to be done.
But there needs to be more done. Today there
needs to be multiple ways of getting the job
done.” “This is not a protest. This is just how
God is leading us now. There is a worldwide
move toward decentralization. In nations around the world, everything is breaking up into smaller units… Things are different and we have to acknowledge that difference.

“There is nothing sacred about form. There is something sacred about sending missionaries
out but not about form. If we make form a sacred cow, then we’re in trouble.”

© Copyright 2008, Texas Baptists Committed, P.O. Box 3330, San Angelo, TX 76902