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BREAKING: Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting Canceled Amid Coronavirus

by | Mar 24, 2020

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The 2020 Southern Baptist Convention has been a controversial topic for a couple of months as it has been criticized for a number of things ranging from irresponsible preaching to the rescinding of a 2019 resolution on Critical Race Theory.

Now, SBC Executive Committee president, Ronnie Floyd has announced that the meeting scheduled for June in Orlando this year has been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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In an email sent out by Floyd today, he writes,

Dear Southern Baptists,

This announcement is one I neither expected nor wanted to make when I came to the SBC Executive Committee. In fact, it’s one that has not been made in 75 years.

But after prayerful deliberation, the Southern Baptist Convention officers, the SBC Executive Committee, and the executive heads of the Convention’s boards and institutions, acting in a body according to Article XI.4 of the SBC Constitution, have made the decision to cancel the 2020 SBC Annual Meeting, scheduled for June 9-10 in Orlando.

In light of the COVID-19 global pandemic which we believe constitutes a grave emergency, it is in the best interest of the SBC to cancel the Annual Meeting—for the first time in 75 years—out of a deep concern for the health and safety of messengers and attendees.

We are calling on all Southern Baptists to pray for an end to this global pandemic and that God will bring His Church together at this time to sharpen our focus like never before.

I realize many of you may have questions about logistics, refunds, or other events. The Executive Committee has published an initial FAQ and will continue to update that document as needed. Also, Baptist Press has more information about the cancellation. That story can be read here.

In closing, please remember this is not a time for Southern Baptists to shrink back in timidity and fearfulness or be paralyzed with uncertainty. This is not the time to retreat. This is a time for us to advance the Gospel of Jesus Christ to every person in every town, every city, every state and every nation.

Now is the time to lead,

Ronnie W. Floyd
President & CEO
SBC Executive Committee

The annual meeting is where the president of the Southern Baptist Convention and other important topics are voted on each year by messengers representing the churches that comprise the convention. It is unclear if the current committees, entity heads, and president of the SBC, JD Greear, will hold their respective positions until further notice or if other means will be made.

A motion was pushed two years ago on remote location viewing and voting, but the Executive Committee leadership rejected it in 2018 and then again in 2019. Approximately 92 percent of churches don’t participate with travel to the meeting and voting.

This story is developing.

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