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RESOLUTION NO. 1

ON APPRECIATION

WHEREAS, The messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention acknowledge the Lord’s presence and blessings on our Annual Meeting; and

WHEREAS, We thank God for the outstanding leadership of our president Buddy Champion, vice presidents Morgan Bailey and Jarman Leatherwood, other officers of the Convention, various committees, Convention speakers, musicians, and other platform personnel to guide the affairs of this convention with Kingdom stewardship and a Christlike spirit; and

WHEREAS, We appreciate and gratefully acknowledge the leaders and other members of congregations in the Montgomery Baptist Association, the Autauga Baptist Association and the Elmore Baptist Association — those having played a role in making this Convention a success; and

WHEREAS, We especially thank First Baptist Church, Montgomery, for the use of their facilities, for their many services and ministries and for their support and hospitality; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention, meeting in Montgomery, Alabama, on November 14-15, 2023, express our profound gratitude to God and to those whom He used to bring about Convention sessions exemplified by God’s leadership; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we express our gratitude to the Lord and to all those whom He used to bring about a Convention characterized by worship, encouragement and concern for evangelism, missions, prayer, ministry and the Great Commission.

RESOLUTION NO. 2

ON APPRECIATION FOR LONETTE L. BERG for her long and meritorious service as Executive Director, Alabama Baptist Historical Commission

WHEREAS, Lonette L. Berg, executive director of the Alabama Baptist Historical Commission, will retire effective December 31, 2023, after completing more than 20 years of outstanding service to the ABHC; and

WHEREAS, Executive Director Berg previously served as an active and effective commissioner on the ABHC in 1998, and served as chair from 2002 before joining the staff of the Commission as special assistant to the executive director in 2003; and

WHEREAS, Lonette Berg was elected executive director of the ABHC in 2006 and has served since in that role exemplifying the highest degree of Christian work ethic and professionalism, thus contributing to the success and effectiveness of ABHC in fulfilling its mission to preserve and commemorate the history of Alabama Baptists; and

WHEREAS, Executive Director Berg has provided the highest level of servant leadership in supporting the initiatives and leadership of the Alabama Baptist State Convention, its allied ministries and educational institutions; and

WHEREAS, Executive Director Berg serves as an inspiration to all of us for her kind spirit, loving care for others and unceasing faithfulness through her own personal ministry to Christ Jesus; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention meeting in Montgomery, Alabama, November 14-15, 2023, recognize and celebrate Lonette L. Berg for her outstanding service as executive director and wish her a most happy retirement and many blessings for all her future endeavors.

RESOLUTION NO. 3

ON APPRECIATION FOR DR. LONNIE BURNETT

WHEREAS, Dr. Lonnie Burnett was unanimously elected as the fifth president of the University of Mobile by the UM Board of Trustees on November 22, 2019, after serving six months prior as interim president; and

WHEREAS, Less than four months later, a global pandemic arose that disrupted normal operations and created unprecedented challenges throughout the world; and

WHEREAS, With creativity, leadership and faith, Dr. Burnett successfully navigated his alma mater through the COVID years so that the University of Mobile not only survived but thrived, defying national trends of declining enrollment and recording its highest enrollment in five years for Fall 2020; and

WHEREAS, Accomplishments during his five-year tenure as president include returning fiscal stability to the university, paying down more than $5 million in debt and increasing cash reserves, overseeing nearly $3 million in new construction and renovations through existing funds and fund-raising efforts, renovating the College Woods Center as an event space for the university, starting the Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice program which has expanded and continues to have a waiting list of prospective students, and strengthening the university’s relationship with Alabama Baptists; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Burnett graduated in 1979 with a Bachelor of Arts from then-Mobile College, earning a Master of Arts from the University of South Alabama and Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Southern Mississippi; subsequently taught U.S. history at the high school and middle school levels in the Mobile County Public School System from 1980 to 2004; and joined the University of Mobile faculty in 2005, gaining tenure in 2012 and has served UM as a professor of history and executive dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, in addition to a variety of administrative positions; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Burnett has compiled an impressive scholarly research record that includes two books published through the University of Alabama Press, held leadership positions in civic and professional organizations, and served as a member of the Saraland City School Board since 2010 where he was named to the 2017 All-State School Board by the Alabama Association of School Boards; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Burnett and his wife, Lynne, have a deep love and appreciation for Alabama Baptists, are active members of Redemption Church, and have traveled throughout Alabama where Dr. Burnett has spoken in more than 50 Alabama Baptist churches and attended associational meetings and state conventions; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention, meeting in Montgomery, Alabama, on November 14-15, 2023, commend Dr. Lonnie Burnett for a lifetime of faithful service to students as a teacher, professor and scholar, and for providing exceptional leadership at his alma mater, the University of Mobile; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we express gratitude to Dr. Lonnie Burnett and Lynne, also a University of Mobile graduate, along with their daughter, Lauren Burnett Wetzell, and ask God’s continued blessings on their lives.

RESOLUTION NO. 4

ON COMMEMORATION OF THE ALABAMA BAPTIST STATE CONVENTION BICENTENNIAL

WHEREAS, Alabama Baptists are marking 200 years of doing ministry together with a bicentennial commemoration and celebration focus during the Alabama Baptist State Convention Annual Meeting November 14-15, 2023, at First Baptist Church, Montgomery; and

WHEREAS, The Alabama Baptist State Convention was formed October 28-29, 1823, when a group of 15 men gathered at Salem Church near Greensboro, Alabama; and

WHEREAS, A historical marker resides on the location where those founders decided Baptists in Alabama could do more together than they could separately; and

WHEREAS, Only four years after Alabama’s admission to the Union, approximately 125 churches and their 5,000 members scattered across the state, became instantly connected the day the convention was organized; and

WHEREAS, The vision of those early leaders, which was supported and influenced by area women’s missions societies, built a foundation for the next 200 years of ministry in Alabama, across North America and around the world; and

WHEREAS, The four committees launched during that first meeting – to draft a constitution, to initiate domestic missions, to steward finances and to consider nominations – still impact the work today; and

WHEREAS, The founding of the Alabama Baptist State Convention predates the creation of the Southern Baptist Convention, and the first expression of the North American Mission Board was birthed at Siloam Baptist Church in Marion, Alabama; and

WHEREAS, Countless laymen, laywomen, pastors and church staff members, along with associational missionaries and state missionaries, have dedicated much of their lives to continuing the work of the Alabama Baptist State Convention; and

WHEREAS, The state convention now consists of more than 3,200 churches, representing 73 Baptist associations and approximately 800,000 church members; and

WHEREAS, The Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions ministers as the missionary and fiduciary entity of the Alabama Baptist State Convention, encompassing a range of Great Commission ministries which include evangelism, disciple-making, global missions, church planting, church revitalization, campus ministry and disaster relief; and

WHEREAS, Alabama Baptists have witnessed countless thousands come to know Christ and profess their faith in Him through believer’s baptism during the past 200 years; and

WHEREAS, Alabama Baptists have remained faithful to giving generously through the Cooperative Program since its founding in 1925; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention, meeting in Montgomery, Alabama, on November 14-15, 2023, give respectful tribute to the sacrifices and service of the early leaders; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we encourage all current state convention leaders, including pastors, associational missionaries, state missionaries and the various entity leaders to continue building on the foundation set for our convention; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we prepare all believers within our church bodies to do the same as we stay focused on the unfinished task of sharing the Gospel of Jesus with those who do not know Him.

RESOLUTION NO. 5

ON ALABAMA BAPTIST CHURCHES’ ENGAGEMENT IN FOSTER CARE, ADOPTION AND SUPPORTIVE MINISTRIES

WHEREAS, According to the Scripture, we have been created in the image of God, and we recognize that all people, regardless of context, circumstance or condition, find inherent value, dignity and worth in the Creator (Genesis 1:26-27; Psalm 139); and

WHEREAS, Our sin fractured our relationship with God, making us spiritual orphans (Romans 3:23; Ephesians 2:19); and

WHEREAS, The presence of sin in humanity and culture results in family separation due to death, divorce, domestic violence, abuse, neglect and other situations, resulting in children being placed in foster care and becoming eligible for adoption; and

WHEREAS, Our Father, who is the father to the fatherless, demonstrates care and concern for orphans (Psalm 68:5-6); and

WHEREAS, The Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ expresses the “spirit of adoption” as we who are spiritual orphans are adopted and declared the children and people of God (Romans 8:12-17; Ephesians 1:5); and

WHEREAS, The Holy Spirit defines “pure and undefiled religion,” which is our worship and service to God, as caring for “orphans and widows in their trouble” (James 1:27); and

WHEREAS, We look no more like our Father than when we care for orphans; and

WHEREAS, There are approximately 6,000 children in foster care in the state of Alabama; and

WHEREAS, There are approximately 3,200 Alabama Baptist churches; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention meeting in Montgomery, Alabama, November 14-15, 2023, express our commitment to joining our Father in providing compassion, care and mercy to orphans; and be it further

RESOLVED, That Alabama Baptists purposefully pursue the Father’s will to care for orphans through fostering, adoption and supportive ministries; and be it further

RESOLVED, That Alabama Baptist pastors lead the way in proclaiming the character and disposition of God on orphan care, challenge their local churches to respond to the Biblical mandate to care for orphans, and build relationships with child-placing entities in order to connect churches with orphan care ministry; and be it further

RESOLVED, That Alabama Baptists engage with Alabama Baptist Children’s Homes & Family Ministries and like-minded ministries to develop strategies to serve orphans; and be it further

RESOLVED, That Alabama Baptists intentionally engage in prayer to identify and remove the barriers that prevent us from caring for orphans; and be it further

RESOLVED, That all our orphan care ministries be compelled by the Gospel as the means of evangelism and discipleship; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That God’s glory will be made known to our neighbors as we foster, adopt and wrap around those who serve children in need.

RESOLUTION NO. 6

ON PRAYER FOR AND SUPPORT OF ISRAEL

WHEREAS, On October 7, 2023, Hamas-led militant groups attacked Israel — killing, maiming and kidnapping innocent civilians; and

WHEREAS, These horrific events have caught the attention of the world and broken our hearts as Christians; and

WHEREAS, Israel is understandably seeking to protect itself from attacks by Hamas, Hezbollah and other terrorist groups; and

WHEREAS, In 1943, the Alabama Legislature unanimously passed and the Governor of Alabama signed Joint Resolution, Act 144, SJR 4, that urged “the establishment of a Jewish homeland … be commended to the considered judgment of the United Nations”; and

WHEREAS, Alabama was the first state in the U.S. to do so, more than five years prior to the official establishment of the modern State of Israel; and

WHEREAS, For 75 years, the United States of America and other nations have rightly recognized Israel as the only democracy in the region; and

WHEREAS, Countless Christians worldwide acknowledge the Bible’s teaching that Israel has a special place in God’s plan in history; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention meeting in Montgomery, Alabama, November 14-15, 2023, pledge our prayer support for the nation of Israel and for fellow Christians and other freedom-loving people in the Middle East; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we condemn the heinous crimes against innocent and vulnerable people and will pray for a just resolution that seeks peace for Jerusalem and for all of Israel (Psalm 122:6); and be it further

RESOLVED, That we will pray for protection of our Christian brothers and sisters and other innocent people in harm’s way (Psalm 16:1); and be it further

RESOLVED, That we will pray for our own nation’s leaders (1 Timothy 2:1-3) to confront terrorism in all forms; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we will be found faithful in praying for wisdom for Israeli leaders and those in other nations (James 1:5) and for comfort for those who are brokenhearted (Psalm 34:18); and be it further

RESOLVED, That we will pray for Christians in Israel and Gaza to be light in a darkened world (Matthew 5:14-16); and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we pray the Gospel of Jesus Christ will go forth and for God to draw all to repentance and belief in His Son (John 12:32) — even and especially during this time of fierce conflict, knowing that true peace only comes from the Prince of Peace.

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