The Commissioning Service at Hoffmantown Baptist Church in Albuquerque
Rachelle and I enjoyed a wonderful evening as we celebrated the appointment of 94 missionaries to bring our total to over 5,100 around the world. This is really a very moving time, made all the more special for us because of some people we personally helped through the appointment process. I say again, if you have never had the privilege of attending one of these services, you need to make plans to go. It is the highlight of my week. Though this was the last event of Tuesday (7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.) , I covered it first because of its importance!
The Election of Trustee Officers
The election of officers for the International Mission Board was the first item of business in the public session at 2:00 this afternoon. John Floyd of Tennessee was elected chairman over Wayne Marshall of Mississippi by a 39 to 34 margin, with sixteen trustees either absent or abstaining.
Dr. John Floyd may turn out to be the best Chairman the IMB has ever had. I would have raised two questions today prior to the election, but since I don't know the answers to the questions myself, I did not want to influence the election one way or the other. Obviously, the Lord intended Dr. Floyd to be elected for a good purpose.
The two questions regarding John Floyd as Chairman are not a criticism of his election, but rather, just questions that I believe should be asked and ultimately answered by either the Executive Committee of the SBC or the SBC in Greensboro.
Question One: Is there a conflict of interest when a former staff administrator of the IMB becomes the Chairman of the Board. If the trustees are called by our policy guidelines to support the vision and direction of the President, and the new Chairman has expressed opposition to the current President's vision, is it within corporate and Board ethics to elect that former staff administrator as Chairman of the Board? I'm just asking, and maybe someone can give an answer that can persuade me one way or the other.
Question Two: Is there a policy problem, as some are saying, that because Dr. Floyd draws a pension from the IMB the Board may be in violation of Article 15 Section F of the Southern Baptist Convention bylaws which states:
No person shall be eligible to serve on any one of the above entities from which he/she receives any part of his/her salary, directly or indirectly, or, which provides funds for which he/she has a duty of administration. When such conditions become applicable, that person shall be considered as having resigned and such vacancy shall be filled in accordance with established Convention procedure.
Whether or not this bylaw can be interpreted to include pensions may be a matter of debate, or for that matter, may need further legal clarification. Again, these are just questions and they may be answered in ways I don't expect.
I do believe our Board is now in an excellent position of realizing we MUST support the vision and direction of current administration and I believe Dr. Floyd understands the importance of doing that as Chairman, and he will do his best to fulfill his role as Chairman defined by our policy manuals, realizing the high level of scrutiny he will be under. I will continue to fulfill my role as a trustee to watch closely that every trustee abides by Board approved policy.
John Russell, a wonderful, warm hearted trustee with a solid head on his shoulders who is Associate Pastor at the Bell Shoals Baptist Church outside of Tampa, Florida was elected Vice-Chairman. If for any reason the Chairman must resign for policy reasons, the Vice-Chairman will take his place.
The Chairman's Report
Due to the length of several reports and recognition of trustees who are completing their terms of service Dr. Hatley did not get to his report. He will be speaking tomorrow morning during the 8:30 to 12:00 noon plenary session. I will give you my comments on his report tomorrow. This is Dr. Hatley's last day to serve as Chairman of the Board of Trustees. I believe he has made some good faith efforts to resolve some very difficult issues and I'm sure he is relieved his role as Chairman is coming to an end.
Dr. Rankin's Report and the Financial Report
Once again, Dr. Ranking "rang the bell" as he encouraged us all with a wonderful update on the work taking place through our missionaries around the world. His report, along with regional reports were stunning. Great work is being accomplished by the IMB.
We had a good year financially in the IMB. Trustee Bill Sutton made the outstanding observation that our return on investments was enough to cover all administrative costs in Richmond, so that every dollar given to Lottie Moon AND CP in 2005 went directly to the missionaries OVERSEAS. Not one dollar was taken out for overhead. Investment income covered those costs. That is a great thing, and I appreciate my friend Bill Sutton for pointing that out to us all.
Why I Can't Stand the Longhorns
It is a tradition for trustees rotating off the Board to say a few words to the Board. One trustee, a person I am choosing not to name, took the microphone and then blasted "those who have a lot to say, but say nothing." He then proceeded to use some very colorful descriptive language to identify "those people." I believe it was clearly evident by those who approached me later that my perceptions of his remarks were on target --- he was identifying me --- and most everyone knew it. It got real quiet (remember this is in public forum) and he said, "That person reminds me of that thing on Trustee Barnes shirt! You see that! It's a Longhorn." (As an aside, Trustee Barnes was wearing a Texas Longhorn shirt).
The pontificating trustee continued, "He who says a lot but actually says nothing at all is like that Longhorn --- there are two points (stretching his arms out to show the two points) with a lot of bull in between."
This OU Sooner fan has never liked the Longhorns!
Now I know why! I don't like bull. :)
In His Grace,
P.S. I signed the BFM 2000 and wrote three comments on the sheet that I will share later. The hour is late. Blessings.