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Episode #092

Last week, the Executive Committee announced the formation of an ad hoc committee and a study by the officers in response to Prestonwood’s escrowing of CP funds. This week, we talk with Dr. Stephen Rummage, chairman of the EC, about these study groups.

An Interview with Dr. Stephen Rummage:

About Dr. Rummage

Stephen Rummage is the senior pastor of Bell Shoals Baptist Church in Brandon, Florida, a multi-campus church with over 9,000 members in the Tampa Bay area. He is a frequent guest speaker for churches and conferences across the United States. He and his wife, Michele, live near Brandon, along with their son, Joshua.

Questions answered by Dr. Rummage

  1. The SBC bylaws state two important functions for the Executive Committee regarding entities (see below). How do these efforts to study the current situation fit within the role of the Executive Committee?
    • Bylaw 18.E.5: To act in an advisory capacity on all questions of cooperation among the different entities of the Convention, and among the entities of the Convention and those of other conventions, whether state or national.
    • Bylaw 18.E.9: To maintain open channels of communication between the Executive Committee and the trustees of the entities of the Convention, to study and make recommendations to entities concerning adjustments required by ministry statements or by established Convention policies and practices, and, whenever deemed advisable, to make recommendations to the Convention. The Executive Committee shall not have authority to control or direct the several boards, entities, and institutions of the Convention. This is the responsibility of trustees elected by the Convention and accountable directly to the Convention.
  2. While not as publicly as Prestonwood has done, churches routinely change their CP allocations or giving levels. Churches also leave the SBC, and others join the SBC on a weekly basis. In the eyes of the EC, what about this particular event merited an ad hoc committee?
  3. There are two efforts to study this concern—one by an ad hoc committee and the other by the officers. You were quoted in Baptist Press as saying these efforts are complementary and would “inform one another.” Can you expand on how the two actions can work together?
  4. Suppose the issues are resolved prior to the June EC board meeting and Prestonwood discontinues its escrowing of CP funds. Would full reports still be brought from the ad hoc committee and officers or would the matter be considered closed?
  5. Is there a concern that this action by Prestonwood could lead to a pattern of churches escrowing CP funds should they disagree with actions from an entity or leader?

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