Baptist Briefs

Posted: 11/30/07

Baptist Briefs

Florida Baptists adopt alcohol abstinence policy. Messengers to the Florida Baptist State Convention annual meeting overwhelmingly approved a bylaw revision requiring all trustee nominees to sign a pledge that they will abstain from drinking alcoholic beverages and using any other recreational drugs. The bylaw revision on alcohol abstention—proposed by the Florida State Board of Missions—passed with few dissenting votes. The abstinence provision resulted from a pledge announced by Executive Director John Sullivan at the Florida convention’s 2006 annual meeting. Reacting to a prolonged debate at the 2006 Southern Baptist Convention over the use of beverage alcohol, Sullivan said he was “embarrassed” by the protracted discussion and wanted to clarify Florida Baptists’ position on the issue. Messengers to the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention annual meeting passed a similar measure binding on its staff and elected officials.

Kentucky Baptists hear ‘troubling’ report on spiritual maturity. Messengers to the Kentucky Baptist Convention’s annual meeting heard a sobering report on the theological views of average Kentucky Baptists. Scott McConnell, associate director of LifeWay Christian Resources’ research department, presented findings from a study on the level of spiritual maturity and discipleship among Kentucky Baptists. Describing some of the findings as “troubling,” McConnell said only 49 percent of respondents disagreed with the “heretical statement” that “Christians must continually work toward their salvation or risk losing it” and only 45 percent disagreed with the statement that “if a person is sincerely seeking God, he or she can obtain eternal life through religions other than Christianity.”

Alabama Baptists adopt record budget. In a quiet annual meeting, messengers to the Alabama Baptist State adopted a record budget and re-elected their officers. Messengers adopted a base budget of $44,585,000 for next year. The total is a 1.5 percent increase over this year’s budget, with a challenge budget of $1 million more.

Administrator of Baptist communicators Association dies. Keith Beene, 40-year-old administrator of a professional society for Baptist communications professionals, died unexpectedly Nov. 16. The cause of death had not been determined. Beene worked part-time as the association’s only paid employee. The body is a professional-development organization for public-relations professionals, journalists and designers who work for Baptist organizations. Beene is survived by his wife, Ellen; a son, Erik, 9; and daughter, Miranda, 5.

Former SBC President Dehoney dies. Wayne Dehoney, president of the Southern Baptist Convention from 1964 to 1966, died Nov. 15 at a health and rehabilitation center in Louisville, Ky. He was 89. He was pastor of Walnut Street Baptist Church in Louisville, Ky., from 1967 to 1985. In addition to the SBC’s presidency, Dehoney served as a member of the SBC Executive Committee and the former Christian Life Commission; and as a trustee chairman at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville. He also served as a professor of evangelism and preaching at Southern Seminary. Dehoney was preceded in death by his wife, Lealice, on Oct. 23 of this year. He is survived by two daughters and a son, Rebecca Richardson, Katherine Evitts and William Dehoney; four grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

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