Bob Fowler has just brought the Executive Board report. His comments included the following (I have typed it quickly from a written version, so any typos are mine.):
“Ladies and gentlemen, it has been my privilege to serve your Executive Board as its chair for the past two years. My term as chair will be completed as of the end of this annual meeting. It is hard to describe to you the progress that your reorganized executive board has made since its first meeting in February of last year. …
“Our staff has learned how to relate to a board and we have been demanding of our staff. We have challenged information from our staff, yet we have worked harmoniously with it. Our votes have not always been unanimous. Discussion and dissent have been encouraged and received.
“As you are well aware, your Executive Board has dealt with a major crisis during its initial year. We have sought to be responsive to you. There have been rough spots, but with God’s help we have continued to address what we have been charged by you and by the state of Texas with doing. Our actions have clearly not pleased one hundred percent of Texas Baptists. That is not the job of this board. Some have even suggested that our failure to act in the way they would have us act constitutes dereliction of duty. I think, instead, failure to act independently and failure to use our best judgment in making decisions would, in fact, have been dereliction of our duty to you.
“Nevertheless, last year your valid concern arose as to what our relationship with the will of this body should be. It was odd, I might suggest, for that question to have arisen over the issue of whether we should be compelled to something that we had just, in fact, voted to do and therefore legally committed ourselves and your executive director to do. Nevertheless, we know that there was a valid issue of your right to compel us to do so.”
Bob then read the following statement adopted by the board:
Statement of Understanding
Adopted by the BGCT Executive Board
February 27, 2007
The Executive Board understands and confirms that it has always considered itself to be a “servant board.” It understands that it exists to serve Texas Baptists, the churches, and the messengers to the Convention’s Annual Meeting.
This Board understands that it has no power or authority except to the extent messengers have delegated it authority under the Convention’s Articles of Incorporation, Constitution, and Bylaws, and as the messengers may further direct it to act.
This Board recognizes that certain duties delegated to it by the Convention and under its governing documents are so-delegated because they can be handled by the Board acting as a smaller body with more available time to consider and to act, and, in some cases, with a greater degree of confidentiality, if appropriate.
The Board understands its role to be that of a steward. The Executive Board regrets the parliamentary ruling at the 2006 Annual Meeting. This Board does not intend in any way for its actions prior to an Annual Meeting to “preempt” the role of messengers. Rather, this Board seeks to perform its duties faithfully between annual meetings.