Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fast and furious Georgia Baptist politics

The highly charged political atmosphere here in Georgia has two candidates for GBC president offering websites, marshalling supporters, making multiple campaign stops around the state and delcaring their superior value to Georgia Baptists.


Both are heavy Cooperative program supporters. Both have a gaggle of GBC pastors behind them. Both are conservative. Both are substantial men. Both declare this to be a critical time for the GBC. Both declare their support for younger pastors. Neither say a whole lot about laypeople, but then GBC politics is the highest form of clergy sport in this state. Laypeople are relegated to the sidelines, seems to me. Both disavow the recent anonymous blog by alleged GBC insiders, GBC Insider, which airs various complaints about the GBC work.

So, one candidate, John Waters (website) says...
...I will not personally support any At Large appointment of a person who has recently served. Nor will I support the appointment of that person’s staff member or a member of his/her immediate family to key places of leadership, practices which have become commonplace in recent years.
The fact is, three of the main supporters of Dr. Evers have collectively offered 80% of all first-time presidential nominations for the last 20 years. This overwhelming figure includes the nomination of 5 of the last 6 presidents and a published attempt to nominate 6 of the last 7. If successful, that would represent a staggering 86% rate of control over a 14 year period…by a very small handful of men.

This tight-knit group of high-profile pastors has been called a lot of things in the past. Some have called it, “The Old Guard.” Others have jokingly called the group, “The Boys.” Still others have been more harsh in referencing, “The GBC Mafia.” We’ll leave it to others as to what it is to be called. We just think it’s time to call it “past history.”
I will not engage in “blacklisting” or “blackballing” any faithful Georgia Baptist pastor, regardless of whom he supported in this presidential election.
Fred Evers doesn't say much on his website but says in person that he is the one who will appoint new folks, respect younger pastors, etc., and he says that often, since he said he was having fifty campaign meetings around the state.

What's the big deal? Why so much campaigning this year? CP receipts are declining. The GBC has been cutting staff, heavily. The GBC is saddled with a magnificent HQ building in an Atlanta suburb that will suck up CP dollars for years. Neither can do anything about that.

Somewhere some GBC layperson is saying, "Who cares?"


Anonymous said...

Much time and effort goes into 50 state meetings. How many meetings would this translate into for his community in this given year? Might actually get something done for a corner of the world. But his corner might be too small to initiate such energy and time or enough in it is already working that his talents are needed elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

"Neither say a whole lot about laypeople, but then GBC politics is the highest form of clergy sport in this state. Laypeople are relegated to the sidelines, seems to me."

Hmmm...its almost like there are two conventions... :)