As you may have already learned from a recent Baptist News Global article, I am no longer to be nominated for President of the Southern Baptist Convention at the 2016 denominational gathering. Pastor Allen Calkins of Missouri, who was to nominate me, has decided against doing so. There were a number of factors that went into Allen retracting his intentions, however, both Allen and I remain committed to encouraging Southern Baptists to disassociate with LifeWay Christian Resources and close the ERLC and NAMB. Allen hopes to make a resolution to that effect this week and I hope he’ll receive much support. To provide insight into our stalled platform, I am providing below the speech Allen was to read from the convention floor to nominate me for President of the Southern Baptist Convention.
My name is Allen Calkins. I have been the pastor of smaller churches in Missouri since 1991. I come to you as a Messenger from FBC, Gray Summit, MO to place in nomination Mr. Seth Dunn, ‘Because it is not his turn’. Seth Dunn is a lay member of Expedition Church, a Southern Baptist congregation in Cartersville, GA. Seth is also a student at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Seth realizes he lacks some of the knowledge and experience traditionally found in Presidential candidates. But as a loyal Southern Baptist layman and CPA who is concerned about the long-term effectiveness of the SBC, I believe the time is NOW for somebody like Seth to become SBC President. Radical ‘out of the box’ changes are needed if our beloved Convention is to carry out its primary purpose, International Mission Work, in the rapidly-changing 21st Century world in which we live.
Seth Dunn is an advocate of ‘SIMPLE SBC’, a proposal which would streamline the SBC by eliminating SBC entities like NAMB and the ERLC that are not part of the historic purpose of the Southern Baptist Convention. The Southern Baptist Convention was founded in 1845 to facilitate cooperation between like-minded Baptists to fund, mobilize and send missionaries to Gospel needy locations around the world. Seth believes it is time for the SBC to return to its roots. Seth believes implementing ‘SIMPLE SBC’ will free up millions of dollars that could be used to bolster SBC international missions efforts, something we believe ALL Southern Baptists are eager to see happen.
Seth would also lead the Convention to examine the Cooperative Program. As a funding mechanism that is almost a century old, such a review is long overdue. Seth’s desire is to open a dialog with SBC leaders at all levels to consider how the Cooperative Program can be modified to be the most effective and responsive missions funding mechanism possible.
Seth Dunn also believes it is important for the Southern Baptist Convention to wrest long-term leadership from megachurch pastors and members who currently dominate convention life. As we all know, the average SBC congregation is not multi-staff or multi-campus. Seth believes this reality needs to be reflected in those we choose to lead us.
The Southern Baptist Convention has historically respected both Reformed and Traditional Evangelical theology combined with our Southern Baptist distinctives as outlined in 2000 Baptist Faith and Message. Seth Dunn would make certain as SBC President that ALL ORTHODOX persuasions of Southern Baptists regardless of church size or historical significance have a seat at the table of Convention leadership and oversight. As a layperson without a vested interest in any SBC entity Seth will not play favorites in any proposed ‘SIMPLE SBC’ restructuring initiatives or recommended changes to the Cooperative Program.
For these reasons, I place the name of Seth Dunn in nomination for Southern Baptist Convention President.
As I look forward to the 2017 Southern Baptist Convention, I hope many will get behind these ideas and a candidate (either me or another) who supports them. I would also like to endorse David Crosby for the #SBC16 Presidential election as he is the only candidate whose church polity does not violate Article VI of the Baptist Faith and Message 2000. I believe Steve Gaines and JD Greear are different sides of the same coin. Electing either one, I believe, will only perpetuate the current oligarchy which effectively controls our denomination.
Thank you to all of those who supported by campaign in social media and by donating travel expenses. I will now begin efforts at my GoFundMe site to refund donations.
Please join me in committing to perpetuate platform above at #SBC17.
*Please note that the preceding is my personal opinion. It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church at which I am a member, any church which I attend, or the educational institution at which I am enrolled. Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.