Three things happened during that meeting that captured and catapulted the SBC into the missional denomination it is today:
►The Commission on Cooperative Program brought a report that was adopted as a working plan for best accomplishing the Great Commission.
►Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary was accepted by the SBC and trustees were elected. This gave our denomination a seminary in the West, recognizing it as a national institution and the SBC assumed all support for the seminary.
►The adoption of the Baptist Faith and Message in the Memphis meeting allowed Southern Baptists to define themselves without using the Baptist Faith and Message as a litmus test of fellowship. That was a difficult feat for Baptists to do.
So in 1925 the messengers of the SBC “wrestled the bears” of how to do our most effective mission work; how to define ourselves theologically without a creed; and how to financially and emotionally support theological education in an accelerated way.
My belief is that all three of these enormous decisions were God-given and missions-driven.
In the next few weeks, I hope to personalize the Cooperative Program and demonstrate it as a missions delivery system of quality and significance. And I will use this banner to explain why.
My walk with Cooperative Program has been for a lifetime. It is all I have known and promoted. It is more than a method—it maximizes our ability to do the Great Commission. I acknowledge my debt to my past is part of the vision of Southern Baptists enlarged in 1925. My debt to the present and future is intertwined in my experiences as a believer and a preacher.
I was saved in a church that was assisted in getting started by Cooperative Program funds.
I attended a college that paid a major part of my tuition from Cooperative Program funds.
I attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Baptist Seminary at a great reduction through Cooperative Program funding—even then it was an 11 1/2-year journey!
The list could continue, but suffice it to say, I believe the Cooperative Program was God-given and missions-driven!
The Public Relations/Promotion Office has prepared an exceptional piece on the Cooperative Program “Doing Together What We Cannot Do Alone” for every Florida Baptist church to use as a resource for their members that can be found at www.flbaptist.org/cooperativeprogram. You may have seen some of the promotion in the April 3 issue of the Florida Baptist Witness. To order additional copies, email email@example.com or call 800-226-8584, ext. 3024.
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