Scenes from the SBC Annual Meeting - Word&Way

Scenes from the SBC Annual Meeting

We have published several photos in earlier reports about the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting this week in Nashville, Tennessee. Here are some additional moments from the meeting.

As messengers approached the Music City Center in Nashville, they were handed a fake newspaper claiming to be “SBC News.” Longshot SBC presidential candidate Randy Adams printed them and paid people to hand them out. The contents, which featured ad hominem attacks on SBC leaders, sparked criticism from many messengers. Adams got less than 5% of the vote. (Brian Kaylor/Word&Way)

Others politicked outside the convention in support of a strident anti-abortion resolution. The SBC Resolutions Committee refused to bring it forward, but messengers forced a vote and passed it. (Brian Kaylor/Word&Way)

Outside the Music City Center, messengers were also “greeted” by street preachers who apparently think the SBC is too liberal and needs to repent. (Brian Kaylor/Word&Way)

Clearly terms like “liberal” and “biblical orthodoxy” are subjective. (Brian Kaylor/Word&Way)

The sermons outside matched some of the rhetoric by messengers inside. (Brian Kaylor/Word&Way)

At lunch time, the street preachers showed up with a particularly trolling sign right next to the food trucks. Come on, I am just trying to enjoy my barbeque! (Brian Kaylor/Word&Way)

Inside the Music City Center, President J.D. Greear and other SBC leaders tried to keep the tone nicer. But that did not always work. (Brian Kaylor/Word&Way)

Messengers quickly and frequently went to the microphones to challenge SBC leaders with questions, speeches, motions, and amendments. (Brian Kaylor/Word&Way)

Votes sometimes went as expected, but often not. Sometimes they pushed the SBC further right, but not always. A few were near unanimous, while others were closely divided. (Brian Kaylor/Word&Way)

As the largest SBC meeting in a quarter century, it was clear people are passionate about the issues roiling the convention. Like the divided presidential vote when messengers filled out their ballots as seen here. (Brian Kaylor/Word&Way)

SBC elites like Al Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, often saw the mood of the meeting going against them. (Brian Kaylor/Word&Way)

Insurgents like Tom Ascol didn’t get much of what they wanted, but they kept the microphones busy pushing the SBC to move further rightward. (Brian Kaylor/Word&Way)

But neither Mohler nor Ascol liked the presidential outcome. Mohler came in a distant third, and Ascol’s choice, Mike Stone, lost the runoff to Ed Litton. In a press conference, Litton spoke about his hopes to bring the SBC together. (Brian Kaylor/Word&Way)

Outgoing President J.D. Greear and other preachers also tried to keep the SBC together and focused on the Great Commission. (Brian Kaylor/Word&Way)

There were also several times of prayer for unity and missions. (Brian Kaylor/Word&Way)

And there were times of worship, though generally not as well attended as the times with key votes. (Brian Kaylor/Word&Way)

As messengers poured out of the main hall to head home, it was still unclear whether the rightward push would fail or come back stronger next year at the annual meeting in Anaheim, California. (Brian Kaylor/Word&Way)

Those who organized behind Stone for president and against critical race theory will likely continue. Like Paige Patterson, who seemed to be doing good despite claiming a “lynch mob” was out to get him. (Brian Kaylor/Word&Way)

For now, the SBC managed to avoid a new split and civil war, like the one memorialized inside the Music City Center as messengers walked past. (Brian Kaylor/Word&Way)