June 18, 2021
What a week this has been for Southern Baptists and the Conservative Baptist Network. God used the rapidly-growing, grassroots network in a powerful way as we met in Nashville, Tenn., for the 2021 SBC Annual Meeting.
The inaugural Conservative Baptist Network breakfast sold out in less than one day, with more than 1,300 individuals attending what became a standing-room-only event.
The three SBC officer candidates endorsed by the Conservative Baptist Network received an incredibly positive reception among attendees. Dr. Lee Brand won the election for first vice president, and while Pastor Mike Stone did not gain the ultimate victory for the office of president, he garnered the highest number of raw votes on the first ballot. The other candidates for president trailed in the first vote with Litton receiving 32 percent, sitting seminary president Albert Mohler receiving 26 percent, and Northwest Baptist Convention Executive Director-Treasurer Randy Adams receiving 4 percent. In the final runoff, Stone lost by a mere 556 votes. Javier Chavez ran an exceptional race as well and represented the Network and his church, Amistad Cristiana International, with class and conviction.
More than 15,000 messengers registered to vote – the largest SBC registration in 25 years. This high number, which essentially doubled the average registration from recent years, indicates a re-engagement for certain, and likely a conservative re-engagement – something for which Stone offered impassioned encouragement in the months leading up to the Annual Meeting.
The Conservative Baptist Network also debuted its own news and information arm which seeks to deliver fair and accurate reporting on Southern Baptist life and issues of local, national, and global importance from a Baptist perspective.
State chapter leaders gathered for a time of fellowship and encouragement during the meeting, and the Network will continue to announce additional chapters in the coming months.
Even with many encouraging elements at this Annual Meeting, especially within our own fast-growing network, many Southern Baptists left the convention with concerns unresolved.
We look forward to continuing to help our Southern Baptist Convention grow stronger by engaging on issues in a positive, constructive way with our fellow Southern Baptists. Where there are unresolved matters, the healthy way forward lies in God-honoring, Bible-mandated, Holy-Spirit guided, Christ-emulating discussion with brothers and sisters in the Lord. We are here for that, and we are excited about the ways that unity around doctrinal soundness can make Southern Baptists a more effective witness to the world than perhaps ever before.
Some may have been watching from the sidelines, wondering if the Conservative Baptist Network is a phase, a fad, or a one-and-done effort. This Annual Meeting, which saw incredible engagement from refocused and reignited conservatives, answers those questions.
The Conservative Baptist Network has just gotten started. We can hardly wait to see what all God will do in and through our network and our convention this next year. Thank each of you for helping make our first year at the Annual Meeting so encouraging.
See you throughout America, on social media, and in Anaheim, Calif., in June 2022!