Messengers of the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio, meeting at Dublin Baptist Church on November 16, adopted four resolutions. Three resolutions of appreciation included appreciation for convention leadership, for Jack Kwok and his 24 years of leadership in Ohio, and for the Disaster Relief leadership of Nick Freeman.
A fourth resolution On Critical Race Theory and the Sufficiency of Scripture views Critical Race Theory as contrary to scripture and encourages a scriptural stance toward racial and ethnic reconciliation. The only discussion from the floor was a statement of appreciation for the resolutions committee addressing the issue and an encouragement for messagers to adopt the resolution.
Members of the resolutions committee included Tim Cline, Reginal Hayes, Jonathan Newman, and Jason Walters. The full text of the resolutions follows:
1. In Appreciation of Officers, State Staff, and Host Church
WHEREAS, Our convention president, Ryan Strother, has faithfully and sacrificially served for the past two years and has led the convention to pray for God’s guidance, to plan for future strategy in reaching Ohio with the Gospel, and to celebrate what has been done; and
WHEREAS, Our first vice-president Reginald Hayes, second vice-president Jeff Woolum, and historian Jack Kwok have also served Ohio Baptists through a challenging year and in preparation for this gathering; and
WHEREAS, Recording Secretary Faye Rodgers has faithfully served this convention since 1999 and Assistant Recording Secretary Annette Dessecker has served her office since 2002; and
WHEREAS, Jack Kwok and the staff of the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio have led us during the changes and challenges of the past year and have made key preparations for this annual celebration; and
WHEREAS, The pastor, staff, and members of Dublin Baptist Church have graciously prepared to host this Annual Celebration; therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That we the messengers of the 67th Annual Celebration of the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio express our gratitude and appreciation for the service and leadership of these to prepare for this annual meeting characterized by celebration, prayer, and worship.
2. In Appreciation of Jack Kwok, Ph.D.
WHEREAS, Jack Kwok, Ph.D., has faithfully served as Executive Director of the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio since November 1996 and has announced his retirement effective the end of this month; and
WHEREAS, He has kept in the forefront a strategy of prayer and spiritual renewal; more and better disciples; more healthy congregations; discovering, developing, and deploying leaders; and working from associational mission plans to help move Mission Ohio forward; and
WHEREAS, 607 new churches have been planted during his tenure; and
WHEREAS We experienced a net gain of more than 200 churches the past 24 years; therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That we the messengers of the 67th Annual Celebration of the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio express our sincere gratitude for his twenty-four years of faithful ministry and leadership to Mission Ohio.
3. On Critical Race Theory and the Sufficiency of Scripture
WHEREAS, The Baptist Faith and Message 2000 states, “[A]ll Scripture is totally true and trustworthy. It reveals the principles by which God judges us, and therefore is, and will remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried” (Article I); and
WHEREAS, Humanity is identified in Scripture as image bearers of God, which establishes all individuals with value that transcends gender [male and female by birth], race, and ethnicity (Genesis 1:26); and
WHEREAS, The New Covenant further unites image bearers from every nation, tribe, tongue, and people, through the gospel of Jesus Christ, in whom we find our true identity; and
WHEREAS, Scripture alone contains the principles and commands that are sufficient to confront and correct the racially motivated sins of hatred, bigotry, prejudice, injustice, and abuse; and
WHEREAS, Christian unity is not created by the anti-biblical ideologies of intersectionality or Critical Race Theory, but instead is generated by our common salvation in Christ Jesus; and
WHEREAS, The State Convention of Baptists in Ohio is committed to the sufficiency of Scripture and is committed to seeking biblical literacy through biblical teaching; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That the messengers to the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio affirm Scripture as the first, last, and sufficient authority regarding how our churches seek to address social ills and sinful actions, and that we reject Critical Race Theory and any other philosophy or practice which contradicts Scripture; and be it further
RESOLVED, That the gospel of Jesus Christ alone grants the power to change people’s hearts and to transform practices in society, because “he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6, ESV); and be it further
RESOLVED, That the churches of the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio surrender our hearts to the authority of Scripture alone, and commit ourselves to teaching our members the biblical truth regarding the nature of man, the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the transforming power of the Holy Spirit as the remedy for all bigotry, hatred, prejudice, and unjust actions; and be it further
RESOLVED, That we commit ourselves to eradicating any practices of ethnic and racial bigotry and prejudice from Southern Baptist life and ministry, while pursuing racial and ethnic reconciliation in all our relationships as stated by the June 1, 1995 Southern Baptist Convention; and be it finally
RESOLVED, That the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio exhibits the promise that distinctions created by God and gifted by God give Him absolute glory in our churches.
4. In Recognition of the Disaster Relief Ministry of Nick Freeman
WHEREAS, Nick Freeman has faithfully served as a Disaster Relief volunteer for 21 years; and
WHEREAS, Nick accepted the challenge “Do your best” in 2001 from a letter from a first grader in Silex, Missouri, sent to disaster volunteers at Ground Zero following 9/11; and
WHEREAS, Nick Freeman has responded to more than 50 events including floods, hurricanes, training, blood drives, and conferences; and
WHEREAS, He has served in the areas of child care, chainsaw, assessments, training events, incident command, food service, flood recovery, and most recently in chaplaincy as coordinator of the 34 Ohio Disaster Relief chaplains; and
WHEREAS Nick and his wife Judy, also a Disaster Relief volunteer, leave their home in Hamilton to serve with Disaster Relief as much as possible; be it
RESOLVED, That the messengers of the 67th Annual Celebration of the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio meeting at Dublin Baptist Church express our gratitude to Nick Freeman for his service and leadership in Disaster Relief of Ohio Baptists.