Several Georgia Baptists included
BOSSIER CITY, La. (BP) — The Conservative Baptist Network, a group formed last February “to cultivate the momentum needed for a course correction” in the SBC, announced a 48-member “steering council” Wednesday, June 17. The group included:
Anthony Allen, president of Hannibal-LaGrange University in Hannibal, Mo.; Emir Caner, president of Truett-McConnell University in Cleveland, Ga.; Kelvin Cochran, chief operating officer of Elizabeth Baptist Church in Atlanta and the former Atlanta fire chief; Mark Coppenger, former president of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; Mike Huckabee, former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate and former Southern Baptist pastor; Chuck Kelley, former president of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary; Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council; Phil Roberts, former president of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; Michael Spradlin, president of Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary; Gerald Harris, formed editor of The Christian Index; and Charles Stanley, senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Atlanta and a past SBC president as well as Anthony George, senior associate pastor of First Baptist Church in Atlanta.
The steering council also included six members of the SBC Executive Committee, including the immediate past chairman and four who were elected July 16 as EC officers.
Mike Stone, pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Blackshear, was EC chairman until his term ended July 18. Tom Tucker, a vocational evangelist from Rock Hill, S.C., was elected vice chairman. Joe Knott, an attorney from Raleigh, N.C., was reelected EC secretary. Jim Gregory, senior pastor of First Southern Baptist Church of Mountain Home, Idaho, was elected chairman of the Committee on Southern Baptist Relations. Rod Martin, CEO of The Martin Organization in Destin, Fla., was elected chairman of the Committee on Convention Events and Strategic Planning.
EC member Mark Ballard, president of Northeastern Baptist College in North Bennington, Vt., was also named to the Conservative Baptist Network’s steering council.
“We are thankful to have incredible pastors and leaders who are committed to helping us see positive change in our Southern Baptist Convention,” Brad Jurkovich, the group’s spokesperson, said in a news release.
Jurkovich, pastor of First Baptist Church of Bossier City, La., was the only person publicly identified as part of the Conservative Baptist Network’s leadership at its launch. The news release said the steering council would “represent and support the continually growing group of conservative Baptists,” but did not specify any leadership roles.
One person initially listed as part of the steering council asked to be removed and was removed from the list.
Tim Patterson, executive director of the Baptist State Convention of Michigan (BSCM), said in a statement released July 18 on the BSCM website that he had been invited by a friend during a brief phone call the previous day “to join a group dedicated to the inerrancy of Scripture and world evangelism,” adding “the name of the Conservative Baptist Network was never mentioned during that brief call.”
Patterson said when he learned that less than an hour after the phone call he had been named as part of the steering council, he asked that his name be immediately removed, and said he had “never been a member nor part of the leadership of the Conservative Baptist Network.”