Tuesday, January 17, 2006

West Virginia Chairperson Reports on Fact Finding Progress - Unitiy or Schism Ahead?

Several months ago the West Virginia Baptists narrowly rejected a vote to withdraw from the ABCUSA immediately. By a wider margin they voted down a reaffirmation of relationship with the mainline denomination. As an outcome of that meeting a Working Group was formed and tasked with "finding the facts" regarding relationships between the WVBC and the ABCUSA. The chair has made an initial report of their progress which was posted on the ABE Message Board today. His Barking Dog offers the early report for the benefit of our readership.

Report of the Working Group
December 2, 2005

A Working Group on Denominational Relationships was formed at the 2005 Annual Meeting of the West Virginia Baptist Convention with the mission of “finding the facts” regarding relationships between the region and the denomination.

An initial orientation meeting took place in Parkersburg on November 10. The purpose of this meeting was to:

A) Grasp a recent history of ABC life and denominational relationships through an interview of Dr. Doug Hill and Dr. Lloyd Hamblin.

B) Divide among Working Group members responsibilities for research and reporting.

C) Establish a Mission Statement for the Working Group.

D) Set time and location of future meetings of the Working Group.

Both Doug Hill and Lloyd Hamblin were helpful in providing an understanding of the development of our current denominational structure. An outline of SCODS and SCOR, key issues and significant leaders were reviewed.

Members of the Working Group volunteered or were appointed to research the facts on the following relationships and to report to the Working Group their findings at each meeting.

· Legal procedures – James Johnson
· Continuing relationships with like-minded regions – Holley Faulkner
· Relational status of institutions and groups within the WVBC – Paul Ritchie
· Legal status of endowments and funds –Audy Perry
· Constitutional factors – Jean Cunningham· Channels of continuing relationships – Ed Rogers

The mission statement adopted by the Working Group is:"The working Group exists to pursue and report the facts and options concerning the WVBC’s future relationship with the ABC/USA for the purpose of making informed decisions.

"Three future meeting dates have been set. They are January 6, February 10, and March 10.

All three of these first three meetings will be held in Charleston at Emmanuel Baptist Church.

Regular reports will be made available. The Working Group will discuss how best to make that happen at its January meeting. The desire is to inform the larger body of the group’s progress.

Submitted byRichard McClure, Chair

Source: http://www.abeonline.org/Members/forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=661

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