BREAKING — The Annual Meeting of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention (ABSC) has been adjusted for this year. The Executive Board, in accordance with the articles of incorporation and the bylaws, voted to hold the annual meeting as a special session of the Executive Board of the ABSC. This means the annual meeting will not happen as normal. Instead, the trustees of the Executive Board will meet to handle business.
This decision comes as a direct result of the declared state of emergency for the State of Arkansas by Governor Asa Hutchinson. This decision was also made in light of a concern that attendance for a statewide event would not represent a majority of Arkansas Baptists. It protects the interests of Arkansas Baptists so that a small group could not present an alternate agenda that does not represent the missional unity and heart of Arkansas Baptists. Additionally, the nature of the meeting would make social distancing a challenge since the safety of those in attendance is a great concern.
Manley Beasley, Jr., President of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention, said, “It showed a lot of wisdom with the decision that was made. My expectation is that it is the safest, wisest option. I fully support the executive board to call a special session to fulfill the requirements of the annual meeting.”
The Executive and Administrative team of the ABSC consulted with the Friday, Eldredge, & Clark Law Firm to ensure that this plan is acceptable in light of the ABSC constitution and bylaws. The emergency clause allows the Executive Board to make the essential annual decisions required by the constitution on behalf of the Convention for the year 2021. The Executive Board would vote on the four essential matters of the 2021 budget, trustees, officers, and team goals. This will allow the ministry and operations of the ABSC to continue into 2021.
Read the full motion: Due to the governor’s declared state of emergency because of COVID-19 and in accordance with Article IX of the Articles of Incorporation, the Executive Board shall change the 2020 Annual Meeting to a special session of the Convention on Tuesday, October 20, 2020. During this special session, the Executive Board will conduct the required business of the Convention in accordance with Article III, Section 2 of the bylaws of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention.
In light of this decision, the ABSC will begin exploring options on how they can report on the work that has happened in 2020 so Arkansas Baptists can stay connected and informed about what is happening. Other details such as the pastors’ conferences, reports by agencies and institutions and ABSC news related to this meeting will be released soon.
During the Executive Board meeting, Gary Martin, the vice chair of the Operating Committee, presented the motion. Doug Falknor, the President of the Executive Board, conducted the vote which was unanimously in favor.