By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector
The name change is only for the Executive Board and does not apply to the Tennessee Baptist Convention. The TBC name will remain the same.
Pending consent from messengers to the 2016 TBC annual meeting in November, the Executive Board will become the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board.
An idea for a change in name for the Executive Board was discussed last December by the Administrative Committee of the board and a subcommittee was formed to study the subject, board members were informed.
On the background information provided to Executive Board members, the subcommittee noted several names were considered but the name “Tennessee Baptist Mission Board” was chosen for several reasons.
- “Tennessee Baptist” reflects who we are and connects us to the convention and the larger church constituency
- “Mission Board” is a term understood by Tennessee Baptists to represent organizations that are engaged in a geographical missions enterprise (such as the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention and the North American Mission Board of the SBC).
- The name is concise and easy to communicate.
- It removes the word “Executive” which communicated a secondary functionality of the corporation.
- It is consistent with the convention’s history. The Executive Board was known from 1877 to 1918 as the State Mission Board.
During the board meeting, TBC Executive Director Randy C. Davis noted that the proposed name best reflects what the board does. “I think “mission” does speak to what we are about,” he said.
In 2014, messengers at the annual meeting in Brentwood adopted Five Objectives that call for seeing at least 50,000 Tennesseans annually saved, baptized, and set on the road to discipleship by 2024; having at least 500 Tennessee Baptist churches revitalized by 2024; planting and strategically engaging at least 1,000 new churches by 2024; realizing an increase in annual local church giving through the Cooperative Program that reaches at least 10 percent by 2024; and realizing an increase in annual giving for the Golden Offering for Tennessee Missions that reaches at least $3 million by 2024.
The proposed name was discussed for about 30 minutes as board members looked at the pros and cons of the change. A few members expressed the opinion that the current name does reflect what the board does, but the majority of those who spoke saw value in changing the name.
Following the meeting, Davis told the Baptist and Reflector, “We did have some board members who asked why we believed the name ought to be changed and that’s a valid question.
“Tennessee has significantly changed in the past decade and our present reality is that our state is a mission field any way you slice it. We must strategically think in those terms.