Meet Your Executive Committee
INSPIRING CONFIDENCE IN COOPERATION
FACILITATING MAXIMUM SUPPORT FOR WORLDWIDE MISSIONS
The Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention is the “fiduciary, the fiscal, and the executive entity of the Convention in all its affairs not specifically committed to some other board or entity.” It acts for the Convention between sessions and consists of the president and recording secretary of the Convention, the president of the Woman’s Missionary Union, and one member from each cooperating state or defined territory of the Convention. Additional members may be added from each state, up to a total of five, depending on the number of Southern Baptists in the state.
In 1916, Manson Wolfe of Texas proposed to amend the SBC Constitution “to create one strong executive board which shall direct all of the work and enterprises fostered and promoted by this Convention.” The Consolidation Committee report was presented to the SBC in 1917 and urged that a “standing committee” be established to act for the SBC between sessions.
This initial Executive Committee of seven represented different parts of the Convention’s territory at the time. It was charged to arrange the annual meetings and was “empowered to act in an advisory way in all questions submitted to it on matters arising between the boards of this Convention.”
MISSION STATEMENTThe Executive Committee exists to minister to the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention by acting for the Convention ad interim in all matters not otherwise provided for in a manner that encourages the cooperation and confidence of the churches, associations, and state conventions and facilitates maximum support for worldwide missions and ministries.
In 1927, the Convention enlarged the functions of the Executive Committee. The EC was incorporated and hired its first executive secretary. Headquartered in Nashville, the reorganized Executive Committee assumed responsibility for developing the SBC financial program and developing closer cooperation between state conventions and the SBC.
Austin Crouch was elected as the first executive secretary of the expanded Executive Committee, serving from 1927 until 1946. Duke McCall succeeded Crouch, remaining until 1951, when he became president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Porter Routh was executive secretary from 1951–1979, Harold Bennett served from 1979–1992, and Morris Chapman served from 1992– 2010. Frank S. Page became president and CEO in 2010.
The Executive Committee handles all Convention funds. Cooperative Program funds are distributed weekly to SBC entities according to percentages adopted by the Convention.
From 1927 to 1960, when the Stewardship Commission was formed, the Executive Committee was primarily responsible for promotion of the Cooperative Program. The SBC returned CP promotion to the Executive Committee in the Covenant for a New Century restructure of Convention entities in 1997.
Since the 1970s, the Executive Committee has operated with three committees. Currently, these are the Administrative Committee, the Business and Finance Committee, and the Cooperative Program Committee.
The Executive Committee studies the work of the SBC’s eleven ministry entities. Though it has no authority over them, it may make recommendations to them.
The Executive Committee promotes the work of the Convention and its entities. One way is through its publications program. In addition to SBC.net, the Convention’s web-based hub of “all things Southern Baptist,” publications of the Executive Committee include SBC LIFE, numerous online and print brochures, and Baptist Press. SBC LIFE is the successor to Baptist Program, which dates to 1925. It is distributed free of charge to Southern Baptist pastors and denominational workers and posted online at SBCLife.net. Baptist Press (BPNews.net) is a daily news service begun in 1946 that posts its own stories and distributes news and information to Baptist state papers and the secular press. The Executive Committee also prints and distributes the SBC Annual, the annual SBC Book of Reports, and the SBC annual meeting Daily Bulletins.Adapted from AR 627-1, Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives, Nashville, Tennessee, December 2012.