Saturday, June 17, 2006

Editorial: Why Frank Page is SBC President.

The 2006 SBC President was supposed to be Ronnie Floyd. Paige Patterson, Al Mohler, and Dan Akin came out in support of Ronnie Floyd before the convention even though they are seminary presidents. Before the convention started two other men would allow their name to be nominated, Frank Page pastor of FBC Taylors, SC and Jerry Sutton pastor of Two Rivers in Nashville, TN. Jerry Sutton even though he was the current Vice President of the SBC allowed his name to be put in a week before the SBC Convention. There wasn’t any hope of Jerry Sutton winning with such short notice. Frank Page allowed his name to be nominated shortly after Ronnie Floyd allowed his. When it was first learned that Frank Page would allow his name be nominated few believed he could win against the favored Ronnie Floyd. So why is Frank Page the current SBC President? Here are my reasons.

1. This convention wasn’t about the conservative resurgence or conservative theology, but about Cooperative Program giving. One of the first orders of business during the convention was the report by the C.P. committee. During this report it was clear that the messengers of the SBC were committed to greater C.P. giving. This killed the chances of Ronnie Floyd to become SBC President. Interestingly, Ronnie’s church gives millions of dollars every year for the purpose of missions, but they only give about 3% through the C.P. The messengers weren’t really concerned with how much a church gave towards doing their own mission projects, but how much they gave through the C.P. The main reason Frank Page is SBC President is he led his church to give more to the Cooperative Program than the other two presidential candidates.

2. Another reason Frank Page is the current SBC President is the blogging community supported him. When the IMB trustees in 2005 made new guidelines on their hiring practices that were beyond the Baptist Faith and Message 2000, this became a rallying cry for bloggers. Actually many of the IMB trustees themselves didn’t like the new guidelines and one such trustee was Wade Burleson. He started blogging about everything that the IMB trustees were doing that could be made public. It was from Wade’s blog that the bloggers united. Once Frank Page allowed his name to be nominated and made a promise to bring better communication and involvement to the convention, the bloggers jumped on his bandwagon. The SBC bloggers would become the source for SBC news by sending questions to the three candidates and posting their responses and bloggers would post about their giving records. The SBC bloggers became a powerful tool for keeping up with the SBC. Even Time, a secular news source, posted an article on how Frank Page won.

3. To save time I will combine the last several reasons into one paragraph because while they played a part, they didn’t play a huge part in Page becoming President. First, Page is pastor in South Carolina and the meeting was in North Carolina. Naturally there were more people that considered Page the home town guy. Second, Forrest Pollock gave the best nomination speech out of the three nominators. Finally, Frank Page is a strong conservative.

Before I close this editorial I want to state for the record that Ronnie Floyd and Jerry Sutton are godly men. I have heard that Ronnie Floyd is an awesome pastor and Jerry Sutton is an incredible theologian. So as we pray for our new SBC President I encourage everyone to also pray for these two men who did step up to the plate and were willing to serve our convention.


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