Missouri pastor aims for greater accountability through motions
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Rodney Albert, pastor of – and messenger from – Hallsville Baptist Church, made a pair of motions at the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) annual meeting that are designed to create more accountability and accessibility between SBC leaders on the platform and those who will continue to fill the seats of arenas, auditoriums and convention centers in future annual meetings.
Albert, who serves as pastor of the church just outside of Columbia and also as chairman of the Christian Life Commission of the Missouri Baptist Convention, moved that bylaws 20 and 26 be amended to allow a simple majority of messengers and the Committee on Order of Business to consider floor-generated resolutions and motions, respectively. The bylaws currently call for 2/3 majorities in both instances.
“We’re in a two-day meeting with 16-plus million Southern Baptist members on paper, and we get two days and five sessions to do business,” Albert said. “That really isn’t a whole lot of time. I just think the process ought to be easier for messengers who invest a significant amount of time and money to attend annual meetings to have input in our denomination.”
Albert said he is a bit pessimistic that the Executive Committee will see things his way, “but I hope I get surprised.” He said the 2006 annual meeting in the Greensboro Coliseum, which was marked by many unexpected twists and turns, was a good time to propose these changes.
“I, and others, have a perception that we go to a scripted meeting,” he said. “This year was the exception to that, and there have been exceptions along the way, but I do believe that there is a very tight control on the business of the denomination, and I don’t think that we need that anymore.”