COCB approves three more exhibitors to BGCT Annual Meeting, including Southwestern


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 supports “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.

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9 Responses to “COCB approves three more exhibitors to BGCT Annual Meeting, including Southwestern”

  1. wackypreacher Says:

    So will Truett and Logsdon be applying to display at the SBTC annual event this year? Let’s see who is really inclusive. Just wondering.

  2. Ken Coffee Says:

    I want to commend the committee for this action. I believe any step toward thawing out the deep freeze between the SBC and the BGCT is a positive step. I hope we will continue to look for other ways we can cooperate for the sake of the kingdom.

  3. Lee Says:

    What the SBTC does in this regard is completely and totally irrelevant. This is between the BGCT and the SBC alone, both autonomous bodies with a traditional, historic relationship that includes mutual interest in Southwestern Seminary and Lifeway. I, too, want to commend the committee for this action. It is a small, but important, step. But sometimes small steps can go a long way in extending graciousness.

  4. Southwestern, Lifeway to Exhibit at Ft. Worth BGCT « Deep in the Heart… Says:

    […] Southwestern, Lifeway to Exhibit at Ft. Worth BGCT Jump to Comments… […]

  5. Gerald Bastin Says:

    What has Southwestern done different that now enables them to sign the statement of support and for the BGCT to believe them? Forgive my skepticism but does this have anything to do with the latest plea from Patterson to “help keep the lights on” at Southwestern?

    I don’t see how inviting a group who’s leadership desires, openly or secretly, the demise of the moderate stance the BGCT has staked out within Baptist life count as being inclusive? Sounds more like wishful thinking along the “can’t we all just get along” lines

  6. Tim Dahl Says:

    Yes, their signing the document stating that they support the BGCT is rather hypocritical. But then again, lies and such have never been a problem for the Patterson/etal crowd. Thats how they won the Fundamentalist Takeover in the first place. I seriously doubt that they will now be 1) openly supporting the BGCT on the campus and 2) letting the Standard back into the campus as well.

    Tim Dahl

  7. David Says:

    Maybe SWBTS’s leadership is realizing–letters from the campus requesting contributions directly to the seminary’s general fund budget seem to indicate–that Southwestern honestly needs the BGCT more than the BGCT needs SWBTS.

    When I attended Southwestern, it was by far the largest Southern Baptist seminary–made larger by hundreds of students driving past the other 5 SBC seminaries in order to attend there. It seems that is not the case anymore–and I suspect it will not be the case any time soon.

    Still, maybe it’s a new day in Baptist cooperation? I’ll cooperate in missions and evangelism with any kind of Baptist who will cooperate with me (not just “BFM1963” but “BFMperiod”).

  8. Lee Says:

    It was not the seminary, but the BGCT which made the decision back in 2004 that Southwestern no longer qualified as a non-BGCT entity exhibitor at the convention. According to news reports at the time, the main reason cited was differences related to the SBC’s and Southwestern’s adoption of the BFM 2000, though they allowed them to exhibit for three years before making this decision. Ken Hall, who was the BGCT president at the time, said something to the effect of it being a move to help the BGCT from continuing to be identified by “the controversy.” The fact that they waited three years, that the move seemed to be more directed at Paige Patterson, who had just been elected as Southwestern’s president, and thus at the leadership of the SBC’s conservative resurgence/fundamentalist takeover, more or less precludes the accusation of hypocrisy, at least on Southwestern’s part.

    I was pronounced a “Southwesterner” by Dr Robert Naylor in the first chapel service in 1987, and I have a Master’s degree signed by Dr. John Newport and Dr. Russell Dilday. I am proud of both of those things, and the Southwestern Seminary that they represent. I was on the campus when it reached its peak enrollment, somewhere past the 5,000 mark. But its current administration is not “the enemy,” and the BGCT’s retaliatory action looks like an act of revenge that is unworthy of its reputation.

  9. David Says:


    If the seminary now actually qualifies for exhibiting at BGCT annual meetings, then I am glad for the progress that would seem to represent–and I, for one, would encourage SWBTS’s administration to continue with the same. Again: in Texas, the seminary needs the BGCT more than the BGCT needs the seminary.

    It probably is true that few bloggers at this site do NOT have a diploma signed by someone on or formerly on staff at SWBTS–and non-SWBTS folk posting comments here probably all also know the recent history. Still, the seminary is not the institution it used to be–in many ways–and its present stance, permitting it to sign a document supporting the BGCT, is very curious no matter what the relationship has been or who did what, and why.

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