DALLAS (Revised 6/19/08)– The Baptist General Convention of Texas Committee on Convention Business approved three additional non-BGCT groups as exhibitors for the convention’s upcoming annual meeting, including Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
This fall’s annual meeting in Fort Worth will be the first BGCT gathering that will include a Southwestern booth since 2003. In 2004, the committee determined the school did not affirm support of the BGCT.
In going through the slightly revamped process of applying to have a booth in the annual meeting exhibit hall, Southwestern Director of Admissions Adam Groza signed a statement agreeing that the seminary would adhere to the BGCT's exhibit policy and guidelines, one of which says exhibitors will support “the Baptist General Convention of Texas, its mission and leadership.”
Like all exhibitor applicants, LifeWay and Christians for Biblical Equality also went through the same process and agreed to the principles and qualifications presented to exhibit at the meeting. Both were approved for booths as well. LifeWay has had a presence at the BGCT Annual Meeting, but will now have an increased visibility at the meeting.
Kathy Hillman, chairwoman of the BGCT Committee on Convention Business, said the approvals are a matter of following the guidelines set forth. Each organization went through the process and affirmed the BGCT in writing.
“I think it’s our way of saying we are inclusive,” she said.
In addition to supporting the BGCT, approved non-BGCT-related exhibitors must “offer unique, positive church-related resources and services that would be appropriate for and of interest to Texas Baptist churches.” They also must have a letter of recommendation from a BGCT-related entity predominantly identified with the ministry.