Southern Baptist leaders expressed lament over Texas Baptist funding deliberations after the state convention's executive board adopted a report calling for a $5.3 million reduction in Cooperative Program gifts to the Southern Baptist Convention.

The recommendations, adopted Sept. 26 by a vote of at least four to one by the Baptist General Convention of Texas' executive board, will now be considered by messengers at the BGCT annual meeting Oct. 30-31 in Corpus Christi.

Morris H. Chapman, president of the SBC Executive Committee, in a Sept. 27 statement, noted, "Fractious elements in Texas have driven an extremely poor decision that is bad for the Baptist General Convention of Texas, bad for the Southern Baptist churches in Texas, bad for the Southern Baptist Convention and bad for the common mission causes dear to our hearts."

Voicing "extreme disappointment and profound regret" over the BGCT executive board vote, Chapman said, "We believe the people of the Southern Baptist churches in Texas have not been fully informed of the extreme nature and destructive results of this recommendation." The proposed funding cuts, he said, are "nothing less than a breach of the historic relationship the Southern Baptist Convention has had with the BGCT."

Reflecting on the 20-plus years he was a pastor in Texas, Chapman added, "I know that the Southern Baptist churches there have the world on their heart. I am praying they will not be led away from the historic partnership God has chosen to bless so enormously."

Chapman noted that a meeting with the BGCT's executive director, Charles Wade, has been requested "to express our concern over these developments and to open conversations we hope can lead to a reconciliation between the Southern Baptist ...

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