As usual, David Lowrie has some good things to say about the future of the BGCT under Dr. Everett’s leadership. He answered a lot of questions that I have in this particular article. I trust what David has to say. He’s a reliable source, has been around, and has connections with people who know things.
This may be a good opportunity for us to get away from the labels that we have become familiar with, and which have proven to be divisive. It is pretty clear that Dr. Everett is closely connected to Baptist moderates. His recent pastorates have been in churches which support CBF, though Columbia Baptist in Falls Church was also affilated with the SBC. I have no doubt he fully understands the situation in the SBC, including what has transpired recently. So far he’s spoken with a soft voice, and left the denominational politics behind. Past experience tells me to be careful not to jump to conclusions. Obviously, Dr. Everett would not want to stir up controversy prior to being hired by the executive board. On more than one occasion, and on both sides of the controversy, I’ve seen Baptist leaders wait until they were hired before they launched into an agressive denominational political agenda. But I honestly don’t sense that here, and I don’t see anything in his past that would convince me that is the direction Dr. Everett will take. The exodus of churches that would trigger would be catastrophic, for one thing. And I believe that most Texas Baptists are on the same page when it comes to theological perspective. Dr. Everett’s statements are more than just the expected, routine, general responses to questions about his leadership. I think he is signalling a desire to focus the BGCT back on the common ground of Baptist cooperation, and away from the politics.
Time will tell.
Part of the responsibility falls on us. We are the ones cooperating together in the BGCT, or attempting to. Turning the state convention around and moving it in a direction that is missions minded and missions focused cannot be done by one BGCT staff member. The less selfish we are, in terms of desiring to have our own agenda met and fulfilled, the better off the BGCT will be. We can certainly help to make this transition as healthy and as smooth as possible. We can pray for Dr. Everett’s leadership, and for his family as they make this move. [Poor guy, he’ll have to live in the metroplex. 😉 ]