By Message Staff
DALLAS (LBM) — Only Texas Baptists had a larger group of messengers than Louisiana Baptists at the annual meeting of Southern Baptists held in Dallas, Texas, June 12-13. Tennessee Baptists were the third in number.
BY THE NUMBERS
The event drew 9,637 messengers. By comparison, 5, 015 messengers were in Phoenix last year.
Two hundred twenty-three Louisiana Baptist congregations sent 718 messengers – the largest out-of-state contingent of Louisiana Baptists to an SBC annual meeting in a decade. Only the 2012 gathering in New Orleans drew more Louisiana Baptists (943) during that time frame.
The last time Southern Baptists held their annual meeting in Texas (Houston, 2013), only 383 Louisiana Baptists made the trip. Between 2013 and 2018, Louisiana Baptists averaged only about 190 messengers at the national convocation.
Meanwhile, Texas Baptists numbered 2,036 in Dallas, and 615 Tennessee Baptists attended.
Sandy Robertson attended the SBC with her husband, Philip, pastor of Philadelphia Baptist Church in Deville and Alexandria, and a former president of the Louisiana Baptist Convention.
She said her favorite moment came during a speech by Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday morning, June 13.
“I loved hearing him share his personal convictions and public stands, which align with the Bible,” Robertson said. “He and President Trump are an answer to prayer for the leadership of our nation.
“I was concerned about the younger generation of Southern Baptists who chose to sit rather than stand during the pledge, “God bless America” and honoring of our military. I understand we are all citizens of Heaven and serve one King, however, our nation is a priceless gift from God, and we should be thankful to live in the greatest country on earth.
“Their attitude of anti-patriotism and disrespect for the lives that have been lost to earn their freedom seemed out of order to me. I was thrilled to see Louisiana well represented and am proud to be part of the LBC!”
This behavior likewise left a negative impression for Mike Holloway, pastor of Ouachita Baptist Church in West Monroe.
Holloway said “the negative atmosphere before and during the vice president’s speech revealed a lot about some of the people who are newly involved in the SBC.”
“Many had a very unpatriotic spirit which totally shocked me,” he told the Baptist Message.
Looking to the future, Holloway said another issue that arose during the annual meeting was the social justice movement.
“The whole convention seemed to be about making sure we meet quotas for every diversity group in the nation,” he said. “From things I’m reading as I follow some blogs and on Twitter, I fear there may be a movement to include the homosexual community in our churches without repentance.”
“I was proud Louisiana people turned out in large numbers, but I don’t think the vision of this new convention matches the heart of many Louisiana Baptists.
“It seems the Moore, Mohler and Akin coalition has a firm control of the future in SBC life,” Holloway observed. “I believe we will be asked to approve of women pastors in a few years.”