BMA affirms partnership

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Meeting in Mesquite Nov. 10-12, the Baptist Missionary Association of Texas overwhelming approved a recommendation to seek a partnership between the BMA’s Jacksonville College, a two-year school, and the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention.

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According to the Baptist Progress, the BMA newspaper, the action was approved “without discussion and little or no opposition. The body of messengers and visitors attending the Monday night session erupted in applause when the results were announced.”

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The BMA, with offices in Waxahachie, counts 452 Texas churches in its membership.

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Under such a partnership?which would be official if the SBTC board approves it?the SBTC would provide budgeted funds to the college and have representation on its board. The BMA messengers approved increasing the Jacksonville College board from 13 to 15 members, with the two seats reserved for the SBTC, the paper reported.

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The BMA would continue “intensive efforts” of its own toward funding the college, which is in Jacksonville, the school’s president, Edwin Crank, told the messengers.

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“I am excited to know that the Jacksonville College and the Baptist Missionary Association of Texas desire to work with the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention,” said Jim Richards, SBTC executive director. “Because of the school’s high view of Scripture they feel comfortablein seeking affiliation. Once again, we find common ground in the belief about the inerrancyof Scripture and the doctrines that flow from it. Ifthe SBTCExecutive Board approves affiliation with Jacksonville College, it will meet another need of the churches. Praise the Lord for the Kingdom possibilities that lie ahead.”

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“It’s a great day for Texas Baptists,” said BMA of Texas President Richard Smith.

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In a Baptist Progress editorial, the paper’s editor, Lynn Stephens, said the agreement is in the best interest of the BMA because it will allow “joint effort in ministry” based on doctrinal agreement, because of “sound stewardship principles” by the SBTC, because of longstanding prayers for such a partnership, and because it is “imperative that Bible-believing Christians not remain in isolation from one another, but seek ways to work together with those who march under the Lordship of Christ, whose manual is the Bible, God’s inerrant word, and whose mission is the Great Commission given to the church by Christ. Let’s move ahead and not look back.”

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