October 4, 2007 Publishing Good News since 1884 Volume 124 Number 235

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SBC chooses Orlando for 2010, New Orleans for 2012 meetings


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SAN ANTONIO (BP)—Messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention selected New Orleans as the site for the 2012 annual meeting, contingent upon satisfactory contract negotiations with the convention center and area hotels. Orlando was approved for 2010.

A few messengers voiced their desire to see the convention visit New Orleans sooner than 2012 in support of the Hurricane Katrina relief effort, but Jack Wilkerson, vice president of business and finance for the Executive Committee, explained that the main hotel attached to the Superdome in New Orleans is not yet open and there is no definitive date when it will open.

"When you look at cities and facilities and the dates that we require and the hotel rooms, we could be in the Superdome earlier, but then the hotel rooms are not available to support that facility," Wilkerson, staff liaison for convention selection, said. "So to make both of those work, you have to go to a year where it works with hotel rooms, facilities and the city."

Wilkerson also said the convention arrangements committee was reluctant to pull out of Indianapolis or Louisville—the convention sites for the next two years—because of commitments that already have been made, including more than $600,000 committed to hotels in Indianapolis.

"When we vote to go to a city, we have an integrity issue that we stand behind unless there's a serious emergency that would cause us to change," Wilkerson said.

The dates for the New Orleans convention are set for June 19-20, 2012.

Messengers, acting on a recommendation from the Executive Committee, requested that LifeWay Christian Resources, as a further service to the local church, compile additional statistics relating to Calvinism, the emergent church, elder rule and other topics of interest and discussion in Southern Baptist life.

The action also asked Southern Baptists to report topics of concern to LifeWay as a part of the information-gathering process, and when sufficient information is compiled on any topic, that LifeWay assess future trends and possible effects on church practice, productivity, witness and health.

In a related action, messengers amended LifeWay's ministry statement to assign the responsibility of conducting research and compiling statistics on matters relating to, and of interest to, Southern Baptists.

Messengers also amended the ministry statement of GuideStone Financial Resources, removing a requirement that the facilitating ministry execute a cooperative agreement between the GuideStone and the Southern Baptist Foundation prior to offering financial services to SBC entities.

In other business, messengers:

•voted to broaden participation opportunities by amending the SBC Constitution to require a two-year waiting period between trustee service terms on entity boards and the Executive Committee. It was the second of two required approvals, the first occurring last year in Greensboro, N.C.

•amended SBC Bylaw 15(I), the bylaw companion to the constitutional amendment on the trustee service requiring a two-year waiting period between terms.

•approved a change to the SBC Calendar of Activities to move "On Mission Together: Planting New Congregations Sunday" from March 23, 2008, to March 30, 2008 to accommodate Easter Sunday. The convention also adopted the 2011-12 calendar of activities presented by the Executive Committee.

•adopted a 2007-08 Coopera-

tive Program Allocation Budget of $200,601,536, including a change in allocation for the .76 previously given to GuideStone that now will be divided between the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, Executive Committee and the SBC's six seminaries.

•adopted a 2007-08 SBC Operating Budget of $9,225,551.

•selected Orlando as the convention meeting site for 2010 and Phoenix as the site for 2011.