SCBC 2014: Messengers OK bylaw changes; approve new office of president-elect

Messengers to the South Carolina Baptist Convention’s annual meeting Nov. 11 approved changes to the convention’s bylaws that create the office of president-elect and clarify what it means to be a “bona fide” contributor to the convention’s work based on Cooperative Program giving.

Messengers will elect a candidate in 2015 to serve a one-year term as president-elect of the convention. A president, first vice president, second vice president, recording secretary, and registration secretary will also be elected. The convention staff’s executive director-treasurer serves as the treasurer of the convention.

Beginning with the 2016 annual meeting, there will not be an election for president, as the president-elect will assume that position. In 2016, election of the president-elect will replace the annual election of a convention president.

If, during his term, the president must resign, the first vice president will become the convention president, and the second vice president will become the first vice president. The position of president-elect will be unaffected.

During his year of service, the president-elect will have access to all convention-related meetings where the president has access.

Another approved bylaw change defines a “bona fide contributor to the convention’s work” as including “a monetary contribution to the Cooperative Program.” Churches have been given additional messengers to the annual meeting for each $1,000 contributed to convention work, and the bylaw change specifies that such contributions be through the Cooperative Program during the fiscal year of the annual meeting.

Likewise, those serving on the convention’s Executive Board, as institutional trustees or as members of SCBC committees will come from churches that have made “a monetary contribution to the Cooperative Program.”

Except for existing language regarding additional messengers based on $1,000 increments, the recommendations do not specify a minimum contribution amount to be a “bona fide contributor to the convention’s work.”

Bylaws Committee chairman Bill Rigsby also introduced bylaw language change that would allow for the possibility of a one-day SCBC annual meeting. The recommendation was introduced as information. The proposed change will be debated at the 2015 annual meeting and voted on in 2016.