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July 14, 1999






'Committee on Baptist Integrity'
makes plans to combat slander

___DALLAS--A 13-member committee that will respond to slanderous attacks on the Baptist General Convention of Texas and its leaders chose a name and made initial plans to develop response mechanisms in its first meeting in Dallas June 24.
___The panel unanimously adopted the name "Committee on Baptist Integrity," rather than the "Anti-Slander Committee," by which it had been called since it was authorized in February by the Texas Baptist Executive Board.
___"The Baptist General Convention of Texas is an organization of integrity," said Chairman John Wilkerson, a member of First Baptist Church in Lubbock.
___"The convention and its leadership remain true to the Baptist Christian principles on which the convention was founded, and we will vigorously defend it against unjustified attacks," Wilkerson stressed.
___The committee authorized appointment of a quick-response team to answer criticisms immediately, Wilkerson said.
___The committee also will develop materials to present BGCT positions accurately, he said.
___These materials will be distributed to churches and lay leaders and also will be used in the media.
___"A lot of misinformation is being distributed and, in some cases, outright lies are being told about the convention and its leaders," Wilkerson said.
___"When that happens in the future, we intend to go to the source of it and see that people have correct information. We believe in that old Baptist axiom, 'Tell the truth and trust the people.'"
___The committee was proposed by Dan Curry, pastor of South Oaks Baptist Church in Arlington, who said he was "tired of the misleading and slanderous attacks on our leaders."
___"I believe it's time to take a stand and defend our brothers and our state convention and say, 'Enough is enough,'" Curry told the Executive Board when he presented his recommendation for a committee to combat slander.
___Appointed by Clyde Glazener, chairman of the Executive Board, the committee is comprised of seven laypeople, including three attorneys; four pastors; and two directors of associational missions.
___Besides Wilkerson and Curry, committee members are Howard Batson, pastor of First Baptist Church in Amarillo; Doug Dillard, public relations consultant and member of First Baptist Church in Richardson; Toby Druin, retired editor of the Baptist Standard and member of First Baptist Church in Duncanville;
___Robert Jenkins, retired director of missions for Smith Baptist Association and member of First Baptist Church of Tyler; Dan Malone, attorney and member of First Baptist Church of El Paso; Robert Newell, pastor of Memorial Drive Baptist Church of Houston;
___Carol Parker, homemaker and member of First Baptist Church in Sonora; Lorenzo Pena, director of missions for El Paso Baptist Association and member of Vista del Sol Baptist Church; Barry Peterson, attorney and member of First Baptist Church in Amarillo;
___Brad Russell, pastor of First Baptist Church of Gonzales; and John Cash Smith, attorney and member of First Baptist Church of Orange.

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