VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 2/18/11)—The General Board of American Baptist Churches USA voted by an overwhelming majority on Wednesday, February 16, to forward to the Biennial delegates for their action on June 26, 2011 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, a proposal to amend the Bylaws.
“I am delighted that our bylaws were approved by our board with such overwhelming agreement and am looking forward to the decision of the delegates as we gather in Puerto Rico this summer,” said Ruth Clark, president of International Ministries.
An earlier proposal was defeated by delegates meeting in Pasadena, CA, in 2009, and revisions were made in response to the concerns voiced by those delegates.
“To be a part of the ABC family continues to be a most rewarding experience, said Clifford Johnson, president of American Baptist Home Mission Societies. “The recent vote and approval of the bylaws by our board is reflective of our desire and commitment to truly be the body of Christ. I am looking forward to our gathering in Puerto Rico.”
During the meeting on Wednesday the General Board also approved Contracts between American Baptist Churches USA and the Foreign Mission Society, the Home Mission Societies, and the Ministers and missionaries Benefit Board.
American Baptist Churches USA President, Frank Christine, said “It is my hope that we have finally taken the necessary steps which will move us from focusing on denominational structure and issues to focusing on mission, and it is my prayer that God will bless our efforts when we gather in Puerto Rico for the biennial.”
The proposed bylaws are now available on the ABCUSA website, at http://www.abc-usa.org/EventRegistration/BiennialMeeting/Bylaws2011.aspx. Interpretive materials will also be posted, along with Spanish and Portuguese versions of the bylaws. Copies will be sent to churches and registered delegates.
American Baptist Churches is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with 5,500 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.