Editor’s Note — Alabama had five representatives serving on the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee prior to the Sept. 20–21 meeting in Nashville. Between the September meeting and today’s vote, two members from Alabama resigned — Paul Hicks and Melissa Golden. Following the meeting today, one additional member resigned — Phyllis Ingram. The two remaining members — Neal Hughes and Tim Cox — shared the following response to Alabama Baptists:
We want to thank our beloved Alabama Baptist family for praying for the SBC Executive Committee over the past several weeks. We who make our home the Yellowhammer State have done our best to hear the messengers’ hearts. In the end, the decision did not come easily, but the SBC churches and the messengers from the June 15 meeting would say that the EC fulfilled their duty ad interim for the SBC annual meeting in making an informed decision.
Many of you honored the Lord and us with your prayers and encouragement. Even though some may have disagreed with our decisions, you expressed your thoughts with kindness, transparency, and respect. You gave us the benefit of the doubt of collective years of service and faithfully trusted us to do the right thing in the right way. You understood the underlying Biblical principle and Baptist heritage that “we don’t have to be twins to be brothers and sisters.”
In truth, all 86 of us wanted to do right by the survivors of sexual abuse. Sadly, the vote did not come without several casualties. We ask for your continued prayers as we move forward with the decision made today. In the days to come, all Southern Baptists should look forward to learning more about how to make our churches safer places for Gospel advancement.
As we now prepare to move forward, may our “God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 15:5–6, NIV).
Your Alabama Baptist Representatives to the SBC Executive Committee — Neal Hughes and Tim Cox
To read about today’s vote by the SBC Executive Committee as well as information surrounding it, follow the coverage provided by The Baptist Paper.