• Convention preacher-elect — Suggested by the Convention Committee on Arrangements — “Convention Preacher-Elect” instead of “Alternate Preacher” would elevate the role of the speaker by ensuring an actual opportunity for him to speak while securing names and dates well in advance for two years in a row. If the preacher-elect were to be needed as an alternate during the first year, a new set of names would need to be approved by the messengers for the subsequent years. (BL-IV.L.1.d)
“This change makes sense for a couple of reasons,” said Todd Stinnett, pastor of Black Oak Heights Baptist Church, Knoxville, and chair of the committee.
“First, the preacher-elect will actually be given a chance to preach. Further, it gives the Committee on Arrangements ample time to schedule upcoming speakers.
“I would anticipate broad support for this amendment,” he added.
• Resolutions submittal process — Suggested by members of the Convention Committee on Resolutions and several responses in the annual meeting survey – This change would strengthen the language toward the submission of a resolution by 15 days prior to the annual meeting. It would also give the Committee on Resolutions the option to consider a resolution submitted less than 15 days before the annual meeting.
For clarity, “submittal” takes place prior to the annual meeting; “presentation” takes place at the annual meeting. (BL-III.F.3)
“The spirit of this proposed amendment is to encourage messengers to submit their resolutions in a timely manner, so that the Resolutions Committee will have ample time to read them, pray over them and make a determination about presentation to the messengers,” Stinnett said.
“The proposed amendment does not remove the committee’s right to consider resolutions that are submitted within 15 days of the annual meeting. It simply encourages messengers to submit their resolutions before that time.”
• Auditor selection process — Suggested by legal counsel to reduce potential ascending liability and by TBMB Administrative Committee because of recent selection process – This change would remove the requirement for one auditing firm, selected and engaged by TBMB for the audits of all institutions that receive Cooperative Program funds. The change would facilitate the procurement of a firm that is best suited for the type of activities of each entity. (BL-IV.L.2.a & VI.A) (BFP-VI.D.1,2,3)
“It makes sense for an institution of higher learning to select an auditor who has experience with academic institutions. The idea is to permit our institutions to select auditors who have expertise in their respective areas of ministry,” Stinnett said.
• Regional vice presidents — Suggested by several former TBC presidents – This change would widen the leadership pipeline and give Tennessee Baptists an increased access to leaders who live right in their own grand region of the state. (C-Article VI) (BL-II.B.2,3). “Though I was not involved in the meeting of the former TBC presidents, I understand the motivation of this proposed amendment — first, to get more guys involved in leadership and second, to increase our ability to communicate and associate more effectively across the TBC,” Stinnett said.
“The Constitution and Bylaws Committee believes that, upon adoption, this amendment will facilitate an even broader representation of messengers and churches across the TBC.”
• Style and consistency — Suggested by legal counsel and TBMB administration – These changes throughout the three governing documents are stylistic in nature, for consistency of terminology, and grammatical correctness.
Included in these is the document name change to “Financial Plan,” removing the words “Business and” since its contents speak predominantly to financial matters. (C) (BL) (BFP)
“The only document that never requires an update is the Bible,” Stinnett said. “Outside of that, all governing documents need a refresh from time to time.
“The committee feels that all the style and consistency amendments being proposed will make our wonderful C&B even more precise and clear,” Stinnett added. B&R