According to D. August Boto, executive vice president and general counsel of the Executive Committee, the amended bylaws document:
-- brings the Executive Committee up to date regarding the Southern Baptist Convention's sole membership status.
-- explicitly stakes out the Executive Committee's First Amendment right to self-governance.
-- causes all six Executive Committee officers to be nominated and elected.
-- effectively makes the Executive Committee officers the "executive committee of the Executive Committee" for a limited, defined set of purposes.
-- more explicitly sets out the authority of the Executive Committee officers to review and adjust the president's salary and requires a report to the full board about any percentage change in salary, if any, or in benefits.
-- improves the awkward and potentially problematic process of vice presidential hiring and termination by delegating approval of both actions to the officers of the board.
-- changes the term "subcommittee" to "committee" (or "standing committee") to harmonize references in Robert's Rules of Order and Tennessee statutes.
-- eliminates redundant provisions regarding notice, waiver, quorum and voting that were included for each subcommittee and workgroup.
-- allows action without a meeting with unanimous consent.
-- explicitly states the mode of employment to be "at will."
-- includes modern communication modes such as email.
The new bylaws took effect immediately after the vote.
Executive Committee members elected the following officers by acclamation for the coming year: Ernest Easley, pastor of Roswell Street Baptist Church in Marietta, Ga., chairman; Mike Routt, pastor of Circle Drive Baptist Church in Colorado Springs, Colo., vice chairman; and Stephen Wilson, a member of Lone Oak First Baptist Church in Paducah, Ky., secretary.
Guided by the new bylaws, the Executive Committee elected John Yeats, the convention's recording secretary, as chairman of the administrative committee; Chris Osborne of Texas as chairman of the business and finance committee; and Rodney Autry of Virginia as chairman of the Cooperative Program committee.
In other business, the Executive Committee:
-- approved a request from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary to borrow up to $20 million to finance phase one of the seminary's master plan.
-- approved amendments to the personnel policies of the Executive Committee regarding post-employment benefits for long-term employees whose employment ends honorably.
-- received a Cooperative Program budget report from March 31 which shows $97,764,590 has been received through the second quarter of the fiscal year and represents a 0.75 percent decrease when compared to the same period last year.
Erin Roach is assistant editor of Baptist Press. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress) and in your email (baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).
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