By: Tracie Klepac
This month I had the privilege of attending the 2021 annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention. Mike and I were already planning to be in Nashville the weekend of the convention to be with Lauren and Jamie as they participated in the IMB’s Sending Celebration, so Brother Frank invited us to represent Eastmont as Messengers at the annual meeting. I was a little apprehensive due to some of the news reports surrounding it, but am glad I said yes.
The 2021 SBC Annual Meeting was held June 15th – 16th and was an event-packed 2 days. It began on Tuesday morning with a time of worship where approximately 14,000 joined their voices in praise. Then the business portion began which was filled with reports from both NAMB and the IMB, as well as various amendments, motions, and voting. This was overwhelming at times for this “newbie,” especially when the discussions became heated.
There was debate over the future of the SBC, not only in the election of new officers but for the SBC’s stand on several hot social issues including gender and racism, as well as the SBC Executive Committee’s alleged mishandling of sexual abuse allegations. Throughout the day SBC’s President, J.D. Greear, worked diligently to unite. His message was to hear the concerns of the entire body while unifying around the one true Gospel and the Great Commission. He reminded us of the sufficiency of Scripture as the rule for the church.
At the end of the day, Ed Litton was elected as SBC’s new president, winning a narrow victory in a run-off election. Now, to the rest of the world, the SBC appears more divided than before. But, God can use all of this for His glory if we let Him. James 1:2-5 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
SBC, it is time to practice what we preach.