RESOLUTION NO. 1
ON APPRECIATION FOR SIGURD BRYAN
WHEREAS, Dr. Sigurd F. Bryan served Samford University as Professor of Religion from 1956 to 2002, seven of those years as Chair of the Department; and
WHEREAS, he served in approximately 24 Interim Pastorates in Alabama; and
WHEREAS, he taught well over 100 January Bible Studies throughout the state; and
WHEREAS, he published numerous articles and Bible Studies in the Biblical Illustrator, Baptist Youth Quarterly, and the Alabama Baptist; and
WHEREAS, he served on numerous ordination counsels and preached the 2001 Sermon for the Alabama Baptist Convention; and
WHEREAS, he has constructively influenced thousands of students and Alabama Baptists for the work the Kingdom of God and has provided a worthy model of Christian scholarship, humility, and churchmenship; and
WHEREAS, he has served and continues to serve as a role model and mentor to thousands of ministers; and
WHEREAS, he represented and honored his Christian upbringing, baptism in the HeadlandAvenue Baptist Church of Dothan, and ordination in First Baptist Church of Jasper by serving the Kingdom of God in the state of his birth.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that we the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, November 19-20, 2002, express our sincere and deep appreciation for the service of Dr. Sigurd Bryan; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we commend him for his loyalty and contributions to the churches of the Alabama Baptist and Samford University; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that we are grateful to God for Dr. Bryan and ask God’s blessing on him and his family during his retirement.
RESOLUTION NO. 2
ON APPRECIATION FOR THE LIFE OF W. A. CRISWELL
WHEREAS, Dr. Wally Amos Criswell was an important spiritual leader for America and the world, a man of deep and abiding faith who brought comfort to the thousands who heard his message of hope, love and compassion; and
WHEREAS, Dr. Criswell’s preaching was electric in its power and anointed by the Holy Spirit in an unusual way; and
WHEREAS, he was an unexcelled preacher, an unequalled visionary, an unswerving champion of biblical truth, and an unfailing leader of influence in the community and denomination; and
WHEREAS, he towered over our denominational life for a half-century, casting a shadow that shaped at least three generations of pastors and Baptist leaders; and
WHEREAS, his robust pulpit ministry led to a recovery of biblical exposition among Baptist preachers and those of other evangelical denominations; and
WHEREAS, he was a great author, having written numerous articles and books; and
WHEREAS, he was pastor of the great First Baptist Church of Dallas for more than fifty years.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that we the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, November 19-20, 2002, express our deep appreciation for the life, ministry and influence of W. A. Criswell; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we give thanks to God for the contributions of Dr. Criswell to Baptist life; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that we offer sympathy to and prayer for the Criswell family.
RESOLUTION NO. 3
ON SYMPATHY AND GRATITUDE
FOR NORMAN HENRY (JOHN) MCCRUMMEN, JR.
WHEREAS, Alabama Baptists and Judson College mourn the death of John McCrummen, yet rejoice that he is in a heavenly home; and
WHEREAS, John McCrummen, as a teenager taught Sunday School at the First Baptist Church of Montgomery and was an instrumental influence in the lives of many young men in that church; and
WHEREAS, he served with distinction in the United States Armed Services during World War II and was discharged with the rank of Major having served in the Philippines and Okinawa; and
WHEREAS, he pastored First Baptist Church of Atmore, First Baptist Church of Selma, Woodlawn Baptist Church of Birmingham, First Baptist Church of Dalton, Georgia, and Sampey Memorial Baptist Church of Ramer, and ministered to entire communities; and
WHEREAS, he challenged congregations to support and participate in global evangelism; and
WHEREAS, he served Alabama Baptists on the State Board of Missions and Executive Committee; and
WHEREAS, he worked tirelessly to strengthen and administer Christian higher education for women as President of Judson College from 1970 to 1990 and as Chancellor from 1990 to 2002, and was known widely as a leader in Christian higher education; and
WHEREAS, all who knew John McCrummen acknowledged him to be a servant, a scholar, a statesman, a true gentleman, a committed father and devoted husband; and
WHEREAS, he incorporated into his life a compassion that reflected the love of God, a characterthat presented the mind of Christ and a work ethic that all should be done heartily as to the Lord.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that we the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, November 19-20, 2002, hereby acknowledge their deepest respect and appreciation for the life and ministry of Norman Henry McCrummen, Jr.; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that we who were instructed, encouraged, admonished, and led by John McCrummen owe a debt of love that cannot be paid.
RESOLUTION NO. 4
ON HONORING DR. VERNON G. DAVISON
WHEREAS, Vernon G. Davison became a member of the Department of Bible and Religious Education at Howard College in September 1939; and
WHEREAS, he taught Old and New Testament Survey, New Testament Greek, and Comparative Religion for 40 years, retiring in 1979; and
WHEREAS, he served as chair of that department, later known as the Department of Religion and Philosophy, from 1959 until 1972; and
WHEREAS, he taught over 10,000 students during his 40 years at Howard College and Samford University; and
WHEREAS, as head of the Department of Religion and Philosophy he made sure that every member of the department participated in the departmental workings and that all major decisions were made by the entire department; and
WHEREAS, he and Mrs. Davison often had the members of the department and their spouses in their home to enjoy delicious meals and delightful fellowship, thus making sure they knew each other socially as well as professionally; and
WHEREAS, he had utmost respect for all students and never talked down to them and was never sarcastic to them; he had a sympathetic heart particularly for ministerial students and was keenly aware of their needs and struggles and was patient with less gifted students; he identified with and gave generously of his time to those who had to work in order to come to college; and he was a wise and respected counselor to thousands of ministerial students as well as all other students; and
WHEREAS, he preached in many churches throughout Alabama, serving both as interim pastor and as a supply preacher; and
WHEREAS, he taught through the Howard College/Samford Extension Division many persons who were already active in places of service in local churches; and
WHEREAS, he was always concerned about the relationship between the college and the Baptist churches of the state and had a keen sense of responsibility to the churches; and
WHEREAS, he was a faithful member of Ruhama Baptist Church when Howard College was in East Lake and of Dawson Memorial Baptist Church when the college moved to Homewood; and
WHEREAS, he loved his family and was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather to them; and
WHEREAS, he served as a lifetime member of the Board of Directors for The Alabama Baptist, after beginning his service on that Board in 1959; and
WHEREAS, his personal dedication to Christ, his disciplined life, his work ethic, his sense of values, his realistic attitude toward life, and his Barnabas-like personality (always encouraging his students to keep moving onward and upward) left an example worthy of imitation; and
WHEREAS, he departed this life and passed to his eternal reward on July 29, 2002, at the age of 94.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that we the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, November 19-20, 2002, do hereby express our gratitude to God for the long and effective ministry of Vernon G. Davison; and to his family we express our sympathy for their loss, even as we acknowledge the great gift Dr. Davison made through his long and effective teaching and counseling career.
RESOLUTION NO. 5
ON SYMPATHY AND GRATITUDE FOR R. HOBSON SHIREY
WHEREAS, Alabama Baptists will remember R. Hobson Shirey for his deep concern for the spiritual, physical, and emotional well-being of Alabama children and families; and
WHEREAS, he served tirelessly as Brotherhood Secretary for the Alabama Baptist State Convention and for seven years as the first Director of Shocco Springs Baptist Assembly in Talladega; and
WHEREAS, he served diligently for 20 years as Assistant Superintendent and Superintendent of Alabama Baptist Children’s Home; and
WHEREAS, he served Alabama Baptists on the State Board of Missions; and
WHEREAS, he served as a faithful member of First Baptist Church of Fort Payne, where he was a choir member and Sunday school teacher; and
WHEREAS, he served as an inspirational minister of music and education at Southern Baptist churches in Alabama and Tennessee; and
WHEREAS, he and his wife Sara unselfishly volunteered as directors of a dormitory for children of missionaries in Israel; and
WHEREAS, he received an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree from Judson College, Marion, in 1973 after earning academic degrees from the University of Alabama and Furman University; and
WHEREAS, he set a godly example for thousands of children while serving as a public school teacher in Fort Payne, Talladega, and Winterboro; and
WHEREAS, he served with distinction in the United States Navy during World War II; and
WHEREAS, all who knew R. Hobson Shirey will remember him as a compassionate servant, a committed witness for his Savior, a true gentleman, a committed father, a devoted husband, and a proud American.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that we the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, November 19-20, 2002, hereby give thanks to God for the life and ministry of R. Hobson Shirey.
RESOLUTION NO. 6
ON THE PASSAGE OF THE WOMAN’S RIGHT TO KNOW ACT
WHEREAS, the public policy of the State of Alabama has been to regulate and prohibit abortion by its laws and regulations; and
WHEREAS, the health care priorities of the State of Alabama include protecting unborn children and women’s health; and
WHEREAS, the United States Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade held unconstitutional all laws regulating and prohibiting abortion, including by implication those of the State of Alabama; and
WHEREAS, subsequent United States Supreme Court decisions have permitted the states to enact certain laws regulating abortion; and
WHEREAS, for thirteen (13) years the Alabama Pro Life Coalition, Inc., an organization composed of religious and pro-family groups in the State of Alabama, supported legislation known as the “Woman’s Right to Know Act”, which would provide adequate informed consent to women considering abortion, thereby safeguarding the lives of their unborn children and increasing the standard of health care for those women; and
WHEREAS, in the 2002 Regular Session of the Alabama Legislature, the Woman’s Right to Know Act was passed and enacted into law.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that we the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, November 19-20, 2002, give thanks to God for His participation in the affairs of men and His love for children, including those who are unborn; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we congratulate the Alabama Legislature and thank each of the members who voted in favor of the Woman’s Right to Know Act; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we express our heartfelt appreciation to Senator Phil Poole, the Senate sponsor, and Representative Mary Sue McClurkin, the House sponsor, for their leadership for the passage of the Woman’s Right to Know Act; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we extend our thanks for a job well done to the Alabama Pro Life Coalition, Inc., a coalition of religious and family groups in the State of Alabama, and specifically Dr. D.L. “Dan” Ireland of the Alabama Citizens Action Program (ALCAP) and A. Eric Johnston of the Southeast Law Institute, for their patience and persistence in shepherding the Woman’s Right to Know Act through the legislative process and into law; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that with the passage of the Woman’s Right to Know Act into law, we encourage the State of Alabama Department of Public Health under the leadership of Dr. Donald E. Williamson, members of law enforcement, and participants in the healthcare industry to give due appreciation for the requirements of the Woman’s Right to Know Act in its enforcement and practice.
RESOLUTION NO. 7
ON LOTTERY GAMBLING
WHEREAS, Christians, and especially Alabama Baptists, are concerned with the biblical, moral, spiritual, and ethical ramifications of lottery gambling; and
WHEREAS, any type of gambling fosters greed and covetousness (Proverbs 13:11); and
WHEREAS, the psycho-social problems intimately associated with gambling are immense, intense, and addictive, among which are work absenteeism, suicidal thoughts and attempts above the national average, thefts and embezzlements to fund the gambling addiction, the disruption of homes and dissolution of families, the great increase in bankruptcies, undermining the work ethic thereby resulting in adverse economic effects on legitimate businesses; and
WHEREAS, a lottery entails hidden costs leading to the degradation of society – costs which are not disclosed to our citizens in an open and honest presentation of the true costs; and
WHEREAS, the needs of the citizenry that are being met by its government should be funded by fair, honest, and proportionate taxation methods; and
WHEREAS, the founding fathers of the great state of Alabama, in their moral vision and courage placed a constitutional ban on a state sanctioned and operated lottery and other forms of games of chance, understanding that this state should not be in the gambling business, but rather should dedicate itself to the true purpose of state government, which is to serve and protect its citizens; and
WHEREAS, the silence of God’s people in Alabama would be an abdication of moral and spiritual responsibility to identify and warn of the dangerous consequences of a state sanctioned lottery; and
WHEREAS, gambling is a bet drowned in a sea of unfulfilled promises, resulting in broken lives and broken families, and requiring higher taxes to combat the cumulative devastation brought on by gambling.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that we the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, November 19-20, 2002, representing 3198 churches with a total membership in excess of 1,000,000, reaffirm our historic and collective position to oppose gambling in any form generally, and the lottery specifically, and that we encourage others of like conviction to make known their opposition to their respective State Representative, Senator, and the Governor, and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution be forwarded to the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, and each legislator in the state of Alabama, and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution be forwarded to The Alabama Baptist and the secular media, and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, the Executive Director, Convention entities, pastors, associational and church leaders, along with each Baptist member, be urged to widely disseminate this resolution.
RESOLUTION NO. 8
ON THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG
WHEREAS, the Pledge of Allegiance was first written in 1892 by Francis Bellamy, a Baptist minister; and
WHEREAS, at the dedication of the Chicago World’s Fair on October 12, 1892, public school children first recited the Pledge of Allegiance during the National School Celebration on the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ discovery of America; and
WHEREAS, the words “under God” were taken from Abraham Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg Address and added to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954; and
WHEREAS, the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance has become a custom in many public, private and religious schools; and
WHEREAS, the nation holds the flag in high esteem; and
WHEREAS, the military is required to salute the American flag; and
WHEREAS, the flag is a symbol of courage and freedom for the American people; and
WHEREAS, on June 26, 2002, a panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a 1954 act of Congress inserting the phrase “under God” and declared that the reciting of the phrase was a violation of the constitutional separation of church and state and amounted to government endorsement of religion; and
WHEREAS, both the U.S. Congress and President George W. Bush have objected to the action of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals panel.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, November 19-20, 2002, go on record as opposing the action of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals panel in removing the words “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we call upon the U.S. Congress and the President to use all legal avenues possible to reverse the action of the 9thCircuit Court of Appeals panel; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that we encourage the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the action of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals panel and retain “under God” in our Pledge of Allegiance to the United States flag.
RESOLUTION NO. 9
ON ALABAMA BAPTIST UNITY
WHEREAS, the Bible, the divinely inspired Word of God is authoritative, reliable, and necessary to guide our faith and practice; and
WHEREAS, differences of biblical interpretation do exist and the freedom to influence others and to band together for a common cause are proper and helpful in keeping our Baptist family in unity.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that we the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, November 19-20, 2002, do hereby encourage open dialogue in the Baptist family with emphasis on respectful listening and learning, trusting God and Baptist polity to strengthen our unity; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that we obey the Word of God to “speak the truth in love,” and that we “maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace,” and that we affirm anew the commitment of our Alabama Baptist churches to remain committed to evangelism and missions, education, and ministry.
RESOLUTION NO. 10
WHEREAS, messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention have convened at the Shades Mountain Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, on November 19-20, 2002, for an important time of business, fellowship and worship; and
WHEREAS, we acknowledge our debt of gratitude to the churches, association, committees and volunteers in the Birmingham area for the many courtesies, services, and accommodations that have made our stay a pleasant one; and
WHEREAS, the president, officers, various committees, convention speakers, musicians, and other platform personalities have guided the affairs of this Convention with dignity and a Christlike spirit.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention express our profound gratitude to all whose efforts have contributed to the gracious spirit, evangelistic impact, and overall effectiveness of this annual meeting.
RESOLUTION NO. 11
ON RACIAL FAIRNESS AND RECONCILIATION IN ALABAMA’S LAWS AND PUBLIC DOCUMENTS
WHEREAS, our Alabama Baptist State Convention is on record with strong resolutions favoring racial reconciliation and respect for persons of all races; and
WHEREAS, many of the laws and public documents of Alabama still contain language demeaning to racial minorities; and
WHEREAS, in certain cases such provisions have been abrogated by the courts, yet the language remains in the documents; and
WHEREAS, our Lord has taught us to respect all persons as made in the image of God; and
WHEREAS, Alabama Baptists have followed the theme of this Convention of opening new doors of hope, justice and reconciliation.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that we the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, November 19-20, 2002, request the Legislature and officials of the State of Alabama to consider amending laws and public documents, so that no racial minority is denigrated or embarrassed by exclusive language; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that language of racial inclusiveness be the standard for all future laws and public documents; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that Alabama Baptists do all in our power to assure that our state seeks to have a record of racial fairness and justice for all, in accordance with the teachings of Jesus Christ.