RAYTOWN, Mo. (ABP) — The Missouri Baptist Convention broadened authority of its Executive Board to resolve ongoing lawsuits against five formerly related entities at the convention's 175th annual meeting Oct. 27.
Messengers at First Baptist Church in Raytown, Mo., voted 764-226 to authorize the Executive Board “to make any and all decisions and to take any and all actions with respect to the legal proceedings which, in its sole discretion, are reasonable and prudent, and in the best interests of the convention and our stewardship duties to the past, present and future generations of donors to the Lord's work” in between annual meetings.
The additional authority extends to ending the lawsuits, if the committee deems such action in the convention’s best interest.
Word&Way Windermere Baptist Conference Center, the Missouri Baptist Foundation, Missouri Baptist University and The Baptist Home changed their charters in 2000 and 2001 to allow each to elect their own trustees. The MBC filed suit against the five in Cole County in August 2002. The MBC filed additional legal action against Windermere in Camden County in 2006.
The MBC’s Agency Recovery Group (formerly the legal task force) suggested that because they and the Executive Board were privy to confidential information protected by attorney-client privilege, the two groups were in a better position to make critical decisions about the lawsuits than messengers. In its motion, ARG indicated such information was necessary to make “informed” decisions.
In his presentation, Agency Recovery Group chair Randy Comer said the motion would simply provide the Executive Board the authority to accomplish the “mandate” convention messengers have given board members since 2001.
Vicki Brown is managing editor of Missouri Baptists' Word & Way.