Live updates: Southern Baptist Convention messengers approve abuse reform recommendations

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Live updates: Southern Baptist Convention messengers approve abuse reform recommendations

Liam AdamsKatherine Burgess

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ANAHEIM, Calif. — With lots of drama and heavy decisions expected, Southern Baptists gathered Tuesday morning for the first official day of the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting. 

Highly anticipated events include a vote on sexual abuse reform recommendations and the election of the next SBC president. About 8,500 voting delegates, called messengers, are expected. 

The decisions reached Tuesday will signal how the country’s largest Protestant denomination feels it should respond to a shocking report from Guidepost Solutions detailing how SBC leaders have handled widespread sexual abuse for the past two decades.

Willie McLaurin,  interim president and CEO of the Southern Baptist Convention's Executive Committee, speaks during the Southern Baptist Convention in Anaheim, California on June 13, 2022.

Similarly, the result of the presidential election will mark the political leanings of the majority of the messenger body. Tom Ascol, a Florida pastor, is considered the more conservative candidate and is backed by the Conservative Baptist Network. The other leading announced nominee, Bart Barber, a pastor from Texas, is considered less conservative than Ascol on some issues. 

Robin Hadaway, a professor with Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, is another announced nominee for SBC president. Additional people may be nominated from the floor.

What to know:Southern Baptist Convention set to gather for dramatic two-day annual meeting

Sexual abuse reform:How politics threatens sexual abuse reform within the Southern Baptist Convention

Conservative push:Why the Conservative Baptist Network and its allies aren’t deterred and are gearing up for new push

Many Southern Baptists saw a series of events Monday as foreshadowing the days to follow. The SBC Executive Committee met Monday morning and elected new officers. Executive committee members seen as a stronger voice for transparency in Guidepost’s investigation were elected. 

Follow along for the latest updates.

‘Bare minimum’ abuse reform recommendations overwhelmingly approved

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Messengers overwhelmingly approved a series of abuse reform recommendations that, while significant for the SBC, are the “bare minimum,” said Bruce Frank, chair of the SBC sexual abuse task force.

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