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Alabama active partner in SBC lifecomment (0)

January 3, 2002

When Ed Litton was elected first vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) during its June annual meeting, it demonstrated the role Alabama plays in Southern Baptist life – marking the second time recently an Alabama pastor has served as an officer.

Litton is pastor of First Baptist Church, North Mobile, in Saraland. His election follows that of Jerry Spencer, pastor of Ridgecrest Baptist Church, Dothan, who was elected second vice president in 1999.

Baptist life elsewhere in 2001 was marked by tensions arising from disagreement on the denomination’s message in one state and scandal in another.

Meeting in October, messengers to the Texas Baptist State Convention voted for a second year not to affirm the 2000 version of The Baptist Faith and Message.

Texas Baptists also cited differences between the Texas convention and the North American Mission Board and International Mission Board on what is required of missionary candidates by establishing two study committees to look into the theology, philosophy and strategies of the missions-sending agencies and seminaries.

Further west in Arizona, five ex-officials of the Baptist Foundation of Arizona, which owns property on Lake Martin in Alabama, were indicted on charges of defrauding thousands of investors and three others have pleaded guilty in a plea-bargain agreement with prosecutors.

In other news, a six-year round of conversations between Southern Baptists and Catholics designed to help the denominations better understand each other officially ended in September.


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