Resolutions on marijuana legalization and protecting children were among the seven resolutions adopted by messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention held Nov. 15–16 at Shades Mountain Baptist Church in Birmingham.
Resolution No. 3, “On Calling for Repeal of Legalization of Medical Marijuana in Alabama,” urges cities and counties in the state to refuse to pass resolutions permitting the opening of medical cannabis dispensaries within their jurisdictions.
The resolution passed after Derrick Brown, a messenger from Southside Baptist Church in Ozark, questioned whether total opposition to medical cannabis is the right move. Brown said the issue is personal because his daughter has recently been prescribed CBD oil by her physician.
Resolutions committee chair Roger Willmore addressed Brown’s concerns, noting the committee was aware of mixed feelings among Alabama Baptists and others on the use of medical cannabis.
“I want to assure you that the committee members have spent quite a bit of time discussing this topic of recreational versus medical marijuana,” Willmore said. “The conversation could go on a for a long time, and I’m not sure it would really resolve [all the] questions and concerns. “
The resolution comes as the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission begins the process of licensing businesses for the production, processing, transportation and sale of medical marijuana. Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed the state’s medical cannabis law into effect May 17, 2021. (Read more here).
Alabama Citizens Action Program President Greg Davis has advocated for repeal of the medical marijuana law.
Resolution No. 4, “In Support of the Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act,” expresses support for legislation that protects minors from transgender medical procedures and treatments and encourages elected officials who have passed and defended such bills.
Appreciations and commendations
Resolution No. 1, “On Appreciation for the Overturning of Roe v. Wade,” expresses gratitude for the Dobbs decision, which declared states have the right to protect the unborn by prohibiting abortion.
Messengers declined an amendment to Resolution No. 1 offered by John Killian, a messenger from Fayette First Baptist Church, which would have added language to the resolution related to the appointment of Supreme Court justices.
Killian said his amendment was not political in nature, and Jason Hobbs, a messenger from Community Baptist Church in Maylene who spoke in favor of Killian’s amendment, said he also thought it was important to state the “facts of circumstances that led to the overturn of Roe v. Wade.”
Ron Madison, a messenger from Mount Zion Baptist Church in Huntsville, spoke against the amendment. Madison said he agreed with the amendment in spirit but felt it was important for messengers “to pass a resolution that cannot be confused with politics.”
Resolution No. 2, “On Commendation of the Alabama Baptist Children’s Homes & Family Ministries in its Response to the Overturning of Roe v. Wade,” pledges support for ABCH in its efforts to minister to pregnant mothers, children and families following the Dobbs decision.
Resolution No. 5, “On Reaffirmation of Christian Parenting for All Children,” notes a weakening of the two-parent family structure and urges fathers and mothers to prioritize the well-being and spiritual health of their children.
Messengers approved an amendment to the original text of the resolution offered by messenger Zach Van Gieson, pastor of Lakeview Baptist Church in Oxford. The amendment added language urging Christian parents to make Sundays a priority.
Speaking for his amendment, Van Gieson said “every pastor in this room feels the tension” between secular pursuits that keep families away from church. “A faithful Christian should not forsake the Lord’s Day gathering,” he said.
Messengers declined two amendments to Resolution No. 5 offered by A.J. Smith, a messenger from Hope Mountain Baptist Church in Calera. Smith said his proposed amendments sought to draw attention to child-custody issues in Alabama, which he said “is not a mom’s issue [or] a dad’s issue, this is a children’s issue.”
Willmore said he and other committee members have “compassion for parents who feel they don’t have appropriate time with their children” but asked messengers to adopt the text of the resolution as presented and amended.
Resolution No. 6, “On Appreciation to the Sexual Abuse Task Force,” commends the members of the Alabama Baptist task force for their work over the past year. Read the full report of the task force here.
Resolution No. 7, “On Appreciation,” thanks Shades Mountain Baptist Church for its hospitality in hosting the 2022 Alabama Baptist State Convention annual meeting.
Members of this year’s Resolutions Committee were:
- Roger Willmore, Chair, Meadowbrook Baptist Church, Oxford.
- Michael Brooks, Siluria Baptist Church, Alabaster.
- Dawn Cox, Liberty Baptist Church, Chelsea.
- Chris Crain, Lakeside Baptist Church, Birmingham.
- Chris Kynard, Linden Baptist Church, Linden.
- Jarman Leatherwood, House of Hope and Restoration Church, Huntsville.
- Josh Wootton, Eastern Hills Baptist Church, Montgomery.