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RESOLUTION NO. 1
ON AFFIRMING GREAT COMMISSION MINISTRIES

WHEREAS, The mission emphasis of the Alabama Baptist State Convention has been “One Mission, The Great Commission; One Program, The Cooperative Program; Many Ministries, Great Commission Ministries;” and

WHEREAS, For Alabama Baptists, the Great Commission and the Cooperative Program have been the strong mission foundation since 1925; and

WHEREAS, When Alabama Baptists refer to One Program, we mean the Cooperative Program – the unified budget approach in supporting missions in Alabama, North America, and around the world; and

WHEREAS, At the present time, the Alabama Baptist Convention leads all other state conventions in supporting Southern Baptist Convention mission causes through the Cooperative Program; and

WHEREAS, The Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions has energetically promoted Cooperative Program giving among our churches; and

WHEREAS, The Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions has, through attrition, reduced its staff by 20% during the past eleven years; and

WHEREAS, The state missionaries of the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions have worked in close partnership with local churches through consultations, church visits, conferences, and other Great Commission ministry efforts; and

WHEREAS, State missionaries and associational missionaries (Directors of Missions) enjoy a unique and special partnership in Great Commission ministry; and

WHEREAS, The messengers of the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, June 23-24, 2009, have approved a task force to study how we can effectively work together in fulfilling the Great Commission; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention meeting in Huntsville, Alabama, November 17-18, 2009, praise God for the progress that the churches of the state convention made during past years of Great Commission ministry; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we give praise and thanksgiving to the Lord for His blessings on the state convention and for the mighty work He has performed; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we thank the Baptist churches of Alabama for their increased generous giving through the Cooperative Program so that God’s Kingdom will grow and that people will be reached for Christ in America and throughout the world; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we pledge to work with the Southern Baptist Convention in the Great Commission partnership to reach Alabama, North America, and the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

RESOLUTION NO. 2
ON AFFIRMING THE COOPERATIVE PROGRAM

WHEREAS, The Lord Jesus founded his church and commissioned it to witness “in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8) with the life-changing, culture-transforming gospel message; and

WHEREAS, Realizing the Great Commission mandate of Acts 1:8 would require more than individual or even single local church ministries, local Southern Baptist churches first formed associations, then state conventions, and finally the national Southern Baptist Convention in order to reach people in every geographical context; and

WHEREAS, State conventions are the churches’ organizational response to reaching their “Judea” with a comprehensive strategy for planting churches, coordinating state-wide, multi-generational ministries, educating undergraduates with a Christian worldview, providing for children in need and promoting church health initiatives; and

WHEREAS, The Alabama Baptist State Convention was formed in 1823 to accomplish these core purposes and was instrumental in the creation of the “Cooperative Program” which was adopted in 1925 by the Southern Baptist Convention as its funding methodology; and

WHEREAS, The Southern Baptist Convention adopted the following definition of the Cooperative Program, “The Cooperative Program is Southern Baptists’ unified plan of giving through which cooperating Southern Baptist churches give a percentage of their undesignated receipts in support of their respective state convention and the Southern Baptist Convention missions and ministries;”and

WHEREAS, In fulfilling their Great Commission mandate of Acts 1:8, local churches give a portion of their undes-ignated receipts through the Cooperative Program to the state convention for both cooperative state ministries and ministries adopted by the national convention; and

WHEREAS, The Alabama Baptist State Convention entities use the Cooperative Program gifts from the churches effectively and efficiently in accomplishing wide-ranging, Great Commission Ministries designed and commissioned by the churches, such as:

1) Christian Higher Education at Judson College (1838), Samford University (1841), and the University of Mobile (1961) which offer students a quality college education in a distinctively Christian environment

2) The Alabama Baptist (1843), our state paper, exists to provide information, inspiration, interpretation,

and involvement for Baptists of Alabama and others to help encourage and equip them to live out the principles of Christian discipleship

3) The Board of Aid to Students in Church Related Vocations (1883) provides assistance to students at Samford, Judson, and Mobile who are preparing for full-time Christian service

4) Alabama Woman’s Missionary Union (1889), an auxiliary of the State Convention, is driven by five passions: seeking wisdom, touching lives, caring globally, finding fellowship, and passing it on

5) Alabama Baptist Children’s Homes and Family Ministries (1892) which exists for the purpose of providing children and family services within a context of Christian restoration, and provides counseling services through the Pathways network

6) The Historical Commission (1933) collects, protects, and promotes our Baptist heritage

7) The Christian Life Commission (1936) helps inform and educate Alabama Baptists in matters relating to moral and ethical issues

8) ALCAP—Alabama Citizens Action Program (1937), an auxiliary of the State Convention, serves as Ala-bama’s moral compass to schools, the government, and local communities

9) The Baptist Foundation of Alabama (1940) manages assets for Alabama Baptist churches and institutions and promotes charitable giving to Baptist causes and provides personal consultations, estate planning, seminars, and materials

10) Alabama Baptist Retirement Centers (1975) minister daily to elderly people who call one of the four campuses of care their home

11) The Education Commission (1979) represents the interests of Alabama Baptists and their relationship with their three institutions of Christian higher education

12) Shocco Springs (1999) provides a beautiful conference center with quality accommodations designed to enhance the worship and learning experiences of guests. In an average year, over 45,000 people will attend and over 1,300 decisions for Christ are made; and

WHEREAS, The Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions uses the Cooperative Program gifts from the churches effectively and efficiently in accomplishing a wide range of Great Commission Ministries designed and commissioned by the churches, such as:

1) The Evangelism/Discipleship Team helps churches to be more effective in leading the lost to Christ. From disaster relief chaplaincy, to Christian ethics, to Sunday School, to collegiate ministries, to various approaches to discipleship training, team members are committed to helping the local church strengthen its discipleship efforts

2) The Leadership Development Team helps churches by training ministry and lay leaders, counseling through times of church conflict, and addressing worship and music

3) The Missions Mobilization Team partners with associations in celebrating our cooperative efforts; plans partnership events, assists in helping churches start new churches, and telling the Cooperative Program story

4) The Missions Support Team provides the legal, financial, promotional, organizational, functional, and technical support for the State Board of Missions staff; services which insure State Board of Missions ministries operate in a professional, proficient, and godly manner; and assists church employees with retirement, salary/benefit, and tax information; and

WHEREAS, The Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions has led in giving more dollars through the Cooperative Program than any other state convention of the Southern Baptist Convention; and

WHEREAS, The Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions has given 10 percent of the total dollars through the Cooperative Program from all state conventions of the Southern Baptist Convention; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention meeting in Huntsville, Alabama, November 17-18, 2009, praise God for the progress that the churches of the state convention made during past years of Cooperative Program giving; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the Convention affirm the value and accomplishments of the various ministries of the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we applaud and pray for the State Board of Missions staff who are fulfilling their mission of being catalysts that ignite a passion for Jesus and His kingdom, who strengthen the churches of the state convention, and who are conduits for accomplishing Great Commission Ministries; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we acknowledge that Cooperative Program dollars given by Alabama Baptist State Convention churches are managed prudently, and allocated consistently with our vision for comprehensively and simultaneously reaching our state, nation, and the world; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we pray that God will use the Alabama Baptist State Convention, the State Board of Missions, and its supporting churches mightily as we seek to carry out the Great Commission mandate of Acts 1:8, to evangelize and disciple the people of Alabama, our Judea, to the glory of Jesus Christ.

RESOLUTION NO. 4
ON APPRECIATION FOR ANDREW W. TAMPLING (as amended)

WHEREAS, Dr. Andrew W. Tampling was a trusted and beloved pastor and denominational servant for many years; and

WHEREAS, He served the First Baptist Church of Opp, First Baptist Church of Sylacauga, and First Baptist Church of Birmingham as pastor; and

WHEREAS, He was the first Executive Director of the Alabama Baptist Retirement Centers, Inc., and served energetically through those early years; and

WHEREAS, He was a mentor and friend to many young pastors in our state; and

WHEREAS, He served on the State Board of Missions and the Executive Committee of the Alabama Baptist

State Convention, and the Board of Directors for The Alabama Baptist; and

WHEREAS, He served as a trustee of the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention; and

WHEREAS, He died on October 30, 2009, after a long illness; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention meeting in Huntsville, Alabama, November 17-18, 2009, affirm the life and ministry of Andrew Tampling and express deep appreciation for his service to this Convention; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we pray for his wife, Bobbie, and his family and express our condolences to them.

RESOLUTION NO. 3
ON BINGO GAMBLING (as amended)

WHEREAS, The Alabama Baptist State Convention has historically opposed every form of gambling based on the Bible (Proverbs l0:4, 13:11, 15:27, 21:6; Exodus 20:15, 17); and

WHEREAS, The Alabama Baptist State Convention believes that all forms of gambling adversely affect individuals, families, and society; and

WHEREAS, Article IV, Section 65 of the Alabama Constitution prohibits games of chance; and

WHEREAS, by Constitutional amendment eighteen counties have legalized limited charity bingo for the benefit of nonprofit charitable organizations and for no other purpose; and

WHEREAS, local governing bodies have used such amendments as a means of allowing pervasive and unlawful electronic bingo gambling to proliferate in these counties; and

WHEREAS, Governor Bob Riley has appointed a task force to combat this unlawful gambling; and

WHEREAS, The Alabama Supreme Court recently ruled that the electronic bingo machines currently operating in Alabama do not meet the definition of the traditional game of bingo; now therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention meeting in Huntsville, Alabama, November 17-18, 2009, reaffirm our opposition to electronic bingo gambling at any location in the State of Alabama; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we call upon Alabama Baptist pastors to inform and educate each congregation on the evils of gambling; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we call upon the Alabama Legislature in its 2010 regular session to oppose any legislation that would permit or expand gambling of any type, including charity bingo, at any location in the State of Alabama; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we applaud and support Governor Bob Riley and the task force led by retired District Attorney David Barber, for their dedicated efforts to stop the proliferation of this unlawful gambling through every legal means possible; and be it finally

RESOLVED, A copy of this resolution be sent to Governor Bob Riley, Mr. David Barber, Attorney General Troy King, Lieutenant Governor Jim Folsom, Jr., House Speaker Seth Hammett, each Alabama Legislator, and to all news media in the State of Alabama.

RESOLUTION NO. 5
ON APPRECIATION FOR NOXIE “BUSTER” TAYLOR

WHEREAS, In 1979, Noxie “Buster” Taylor began work at Shocco Springs, located in Talladega, Alabama, and on March 1, 1989, was named Interim Director of Shocco Springs in preparation for the retirement of Dr. George Ricker; and

WHEREAS, The year 2009 marks the beginning of a fourth decade of his employment and subsequently his leadership as the Executive Director of Shocco Springs; and

WHEREAS, We recognize the call of God on his life, his unique gifting, love of people, and passion for this position and place; and

WHEREAS, His commitment to Jesus Christ, Shocco Springs, and Alabama Baptists has been clearly demonstrated far beyond the borders of Alabama; and

WHEREAS, Under his ever-watchful eye and steady hand Shocco Springs has boldly lived out its mission to “provide a distinctly Christian environment for spiritual transformation and renewal;” and

WHEREAS, The values of people, integrity, and excellence have guided decision making for guests, property, buildings, and endowments; and

WHEREAS, He has led by example in a spirit of cooperation and inclusion with his staff and Alabama Baptists in fulfilling the Great Commission; and

WHEREAS, He remains unswerving in his commitment to Christ, Shocco Springs, Alabama Baptists, and Christians around our world; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention meeting in Huntsville, Alabama, November 17-18, 2009, first express our gratitude to God for leading us to elect Buster Taylor as the Executive Director of Shocco Springs; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we call upon all Alabama Baptists to pray for God’s continued blessings and guidance upon Buster Taylor and the ministry of Shocco Springs; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention affirm their support of and appreciation for Buster Taylor as he continues to provide consistent and exemplary leadership to Shocco Springs.

RESOLUTION NO. 6
ON APPRECIATION FOR THOMAS E. CORTS

WHEREAS, Dr. Thomas E. Corts was a trusted colleague to all involved in Christian higher education throughout his adult life; and

WHEREAS, He had a distinguished career as executive vice-president of Georgetown College, president of Wingate College and president of Samford University for twenty-three years, and

WHEREAS, Dr. Corts extended his influence through service as chairman of the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and as president of SACS, the American Association of Presidents of Independent Colleges and Universities, and the Association of Baptist Colleges; and

WHEREAS, He served honorably in retirement as interim chancellor of the Community College System of the state of Alabama, and then as coordinator of President George W. Bush’s “Initiative to Expand Education” and later as coordinator of basic education in the United States State Department’s Office of the Director of Foreign Assistance helping to provide aid to four million school children in Ethiopia, Ghana, Honduras, Liberia, Mali and Yemen; and

WHEREAS, He and his wife, Marla, served as faithful Baptist laypeople at the Brookwood Baptist Church in Birmingham; and

WHEREAS, Christian higher education and all Alabama Baptists lost a good friend at his death on February 3, 2009; and

WHEREAS, The Education Commission of the Alabama Baptist State Convention, at its meeting on May 19, 2009, at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, expressed their gratitude for the life and contributions of Thomas Corts; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention meeting in Huntsville, Alabama, November 17-18, 2009, affirm the expressions of gratitude by the Education Commission for the life and ministry of Thomas Corts and give thanks for his significant contribution to Samford University and the Alabama Baptist State Convention.

RESOLUTION NO. 8
ON APPRECIATION

WHEREAS, The messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention enjoyed a time of encouragement, worship, unity, and the Spirit’s direction; and

WHEREAS, The emphasis has been on “Across Alabama,” a plan to reach more people for Christ during 2010 and 2011; and

WHEREAS, We thank God for the outstanding leadership of our president, Dr. Jimmy Jackson, vice presidents Dr. Mike Shaw and Dr. John Killian, along with other officers of the Convention; and

WHEREAS, We acknowledge the Lord’s presence and blessings on our Convention; and

WHEREAS, We appreciate the Madison Baptist Association,

the area churches, and the ministers of those churches

having played a significant role in making this Convention a success; and

WHEREAS, We especially thank the Whitesburg Baptist Church for the use of their facilities, services of every kind, and their support and hospitality; and

WHEREAS, We express gratitude for the various committees, Convention speakers, musicians, and other platform personalities; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention meeting in Huntsville, Alabama, November 17-18, 2009, express our profound gratitude to God and to those whom He used to bring about Convention sessions characterized by God’s leadership.

RESOLUTION NO. 7
ON THE BAPTIST HERITAGE

WHEREAS, The year 2009 marks the 400th anniversary of the beginning of the modern Baptist movement at Amsterdam in 1609 when a group of English Separatist refugees, fleeing religious persecution in their home country, created a community of faith whose worship and life together reflected the New Testament pattern of a believers’ church; and

WHEREAS, For more than 200 years Baptist believers in Alabama have gathered in local congregations to worship and serve Christ, and have worked together to further the cause of the Gospel through associations and, since 1823, through the work of the Alabama Baptist State Convention; and

WHEREAS, Baptists through the centuries have maintained a distinctive witness on behalf of religious liberty, not only for themselves but for all persons made in the image of God, and have declared, even at the cost of harassment, persecution, and death, that God alone is the Lord of the conscience; and

WHEREAS, Baptist Christians have clearly proclaimed their belief in the Bible, the inspired and totally truthful Word of God, which is the only rule of faith and practice; and

WHEREAS, Baptists, together with all other Bible-believing Christians, confess their faith in the one true God of holiness and love, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the God who created the world and sustains it by his providence, the God who out of love for lost men and women became incarnate in the virgin-born Jesus whose sinless life, substitutionary death on the cross, glorious resurrection, triumphant ascension, and certain return in glory is the hope of the world and who is himself the Way, the Truth, and the Life, the sole and all-sufficient Savior for all persons everywhere; and

WHEREAS, Baptist congregations have gathered themselves into covenanted congregations of regenerated believers emphasizing the ordinance of baptism set forth in the New Testament, which is the baptism of believers on the basis of repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and celebrating the Lord’s Supper as an act of love and communion with Christ; and

WHEREAS, Baptists have led the way in sharing the message of Jesus Christ and salvation through him to the uttermost parts of the earth following in the footsteps of the shoemaker-pastor William Carey, “the father of modern missions,” and other great heroes of the missionary cause including Adoniram and Anne Judson, Luther Rice, Lottie Moon, Annie Armstrong, Bill Wallace, Martha Myers, and many others; and

WHEREAS, Since 1925 Baptists in Alabama, along with many other Baptists throughout the Southern Baptist Convention, have worked together through the Cooperative Program to spread the message of Christ at home and abroad so that lost souls would be saved, the Lordship of Christ extended over all areas of life, and God glorified in ever increasing measure; and

WHEREAS, In recent decades there has been a loss of emphasis on the Baptist heritage leading to a lack of focus or even crisis of Baptist identity within Baptist churches generally and among the rising generation in particular; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention meeting in Huntsville, Alabama, November 17-18, 2009, express our gratitude to God for our Baptist heritage, remembering with thanksgiving those pioneers of the Baptist way, especially those who at great personal cost, stood with courage for religious liberty for all persons, along with others who have given their very lives for the sake of the Gospel; and be it further

RESOLVED, We commend the Alabama Baptist Historical Commission and Alabama Baptist educational institutions for the important work they do in collecting documents related to the Baptist heritage, sponsoring publications, conferences, and workshops on Baptist history, and for including in their curricular offerings courses that emphasize the history and vitality of Baptist communities of faith large and small; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we pray for the worldwide Baptist family who share with us a like precious faith, and that we stand in solidarity with all Baptists who serve Christ in difficult and dangerous places, and that we seek actively to manifest the unity we share as brothers and sisters in Christ so that the world may see our love for one another and believe the Gospel we proclaim; and be it further

RESOLVED, We call upon Alabama Baptist pastors to lead in recognitions of the Baptist heritage in their congregations, including the observance of a “Baptist Heritage Sunday” and other events where Baptist history, polity, and theology can be taught and learned by all generations in the church; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we rededicate ourselves to the cherished principles of our Baptist heritage, praying for spiritual renewal among our churches and within our denomination, to the end that the Gospel of Christ will continue to go forth from us in all sincerity, integrity, and authenticity, and in the power of the Holy Spirit, now and for generations to come.

DOWNLOAD A COPY OF THESE RESOLUTIONS – 2009 (.pdf)

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