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Tennessee Baptists to review 1951 contract stipulating Belmont Univ. ties


CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (BP) - Messengers to the Tennessee Baptist Convention annual meeting cut funding for Belmont University but delayed acting on a proposed resolution defining the relationship between the two entities, further lengthening a process that began three and a half years ago and could open the door to legal action.

Messengers approved a budget that redistributed the $2.3 million originally designated for Belmont.

A 54-year-old contract between the TBC and Belmont was the sticking point for messengers reticent to act on a "resolution of relationship" as presented by the TBC executive board to the annual meeting at First Baptist Church in Clarksville.

That resolution would have changed the relationship between the two entities from one of affiliation to one of fraternity.

The 1951 contract apparently contains language indicating that if Belmont passed from Baptist control, its property would revert to the possession of the TBC executive board.