SBC to ponder inviting WMU to join its fold
June 28, 2005
NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Among the 24 proposed motions offered by messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention’s (SBC) annual meeting here was one calling for the Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU) to become an entity of the SBC.
The motion, offered by Leslie Stock of Santa Fe Trail Baptist Church, Boonville, was accepted and referred to the SBC Executive Committee.
Stock urged the WMU, which is an auxiliary, to join the other SBC entities, particularly the International Mission Board and North American Mission Board, “in the work of missions, and enjoy the benefits of being an entity of the SBC,” Stock said.
The Executive Committee will now study the motion and report on its findings to messengers at the 2006 annual meeting in Greensboro, N.C.
Stock made another motion directing WMU to amend its charter to make the SBC its sole member. That was ruled out of order because the SBC has no power to instruct the WMU. WMU Executive Director Wanda Lee responded to that motion by claiming that it was inappropriate and that such motion should only be referred to the WMU executive board.
WMU, founded in 1888 and headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., maintains that it works with all Baptists, but in Missouri, where only one of two state conventions is recognized by the SBC, that philosophy has sparked controversy. The SBC supports the theologically conservative Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC), not the theologically moderate Baptist General Convention of Missouri (BGCM). Much to the dismay of SBC and MBC leaders, Lee spoke at the BGCM annual meeting in late April at the Windermere Baptist Conference Center.