NASHVILLE (BP) – Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission President Russell Moore presented a resolution of appreciation to Missourian Jonathan Whitehead, an at-large trustee with the ERLC, during their annual board meeting here, Aug. 23-24.
The resolution approved by the ERLC’s executive committee commended Whitehead for his work on behalf of Trinity Lutheran Church in Columbia, Mo. The church won an important religious freedom case at the U.S. Supreme Court in June, and Whitehead and his father Michael – lawyers in Kansas City, Mo. – served as co-counsels for Trinity Lutheran.
Additionally, trustees approved recipients of two annual awards, adopted a slight budget increase, elected new officers and received reports on the commission’s work in the last year. The board meeting concluded on the day the ERLC’s national conference on parenting began at the same site.
Trustees unanimously approved Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam as the recipient of the Richard Land Distinguished Service Award, which goes annually to a person displaying excellent service to God’s kingdom. They also approved unanimously the Little Sisters of the Poor for the John Leland Religious Liberty Award, which is given yearly to a person or group exhibiting a deep commitment to religious freedom.
In other actions, the ERLC trustees:
- Approved a 2017-18 operating budget of $4.234 million, an increase of about $136,000 from the previous financial year.
- Elected Trevor Atwood, pastor of City Church in Murfreesboro, Tenn., as chairman; Barry Creamer, president of Criswell College in Dallas, as vice chairman; and Roger Manao, pastor of Philadelphia (Pa.) Bible Church International, as secretary.
- Passed a response to a motion at the 2017 SBC meeting from Oklahoma messenger Luke Holmes asking all convention entities to consider publishing online the names and contact information of their trustees. In its response, the board said the ERLC “does not release personal information regarding its staff or trustees as personal data is subject to spam, abuse, and security concerns. Trustees may be contacted through the Office of the President.”