Cornerstone Baptist Church, 4930 Old Lohman Rd., Jefferson City, Missouri, 65109

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Dr. Frank Page Elected as New Executive Director of the Southern Baptist Convention

The Southern Baptist Convention is meeting in Orlando, Florida beginning today, June 15, and continuing tomorrow June 16, 2010. Rose and I are not attending this year due to being so close to Vacation Bible School, and a back problem I have had that, thankfully, is now much better.

There are some significant issues being dealt with in Orlando by the Convention as it meets.

One of those has already been settled. The news is already out that Dr. Frank Page has been elected by the Executive Committee to be the next Executive Director of the Southern Baptist Convention. Dr. Morris Chapman has held that role for many years and has done a wonderful job. He is retiring, and Dr. Page will assume the job in October of this year. Page is a former President of the Southern Baptist Convention, and is a very strong supporter of the Cooperative Program. I believe this is an outstanding choice by the Executive Committee.

Unfortunately, it appears the meeting at which Page was elected was not an open meeting, nor was the vote on him announced. The Biblical Recorder - state Baptist paper for North Carolina - reports that there was opposition to Page because of his insistence that Southern Baptist Polity (way of doing business/church governance) be followed in the final Great Commission Resurgence Report that will be voted on by the Convention later today:
Biblical Recorder: Page was brought to the Executive Committee as the recommendation of its own search committee. He was on the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force, a fact which did not endear him to those who oppose the GCR Task Force recommendations.

More significantly, those who favor the task force resented Page’s outspokenness on the task force and firmly held position that the final recommendations must give the trustee boards of SBC entities responsibility for whatever they decide to implement.

Page was opposed for his audacity to hold the GCR task force to observe Southern Baptist polity and respect the process.

He is even said to have threatened to present a minority report if such polity was not respected. That irked SBC elected leadership and task force leadership. . . . Read More
 The report also indicates Page was treated "shoddily" the very day he was elected:
Biblical Recorder: After about 90 minutes Page emerged from the meeting room into the lobby where press and friends waited, sweat glistening over his face.

He answered a few questions while waiting for the Executive Committee to vote on his professional fate on the other side of the door behind him.

After about 10 minutes those doors opened, indicating the committee members had voted and the meeting was now open to others.

Page walked in with his family, closely followed by press and friends.

Here’s where bizarre bloomed. There was no reaction in the room.

Executive Committee members had taken a break when the door opened. They were milling about, talking amongst each other. Only two people came to Page to shake his hand. I heard one say, “Welcome to Nashville.”

That was the first indication that Page had, in fact, been elected. Page’s family took seats while he wandered among the Executive Committee members, shaking a few hands. . . . Read More
If this report is accurate, it needs to be said that Dr. Frank Page deserves better than that. People who are elected to serve on committees and boards by the Southern Baptist Convention are elected to be servants - not masters. It is vital for us as a denomination and as a church to have a spirit of love and cooperation, even when we may disagree or be on the "losing side" of an issue. In fact, our character will be displayed more clearly at those times, perhaps, than at any other time.

Pray for Dr. Frank Page as he begins his ministry as the man who guides the affairs of our convention day to day, even as he seeks the Lord's guidance in how to do so.