Published May 6, 2010
Cooperation has been a hallmark value for Southern Baptists from the beginning in 1845 when 293 accredited messengers primarily from Georgia, South Carolina and Virginia met in Augusta to organize what would become the Southern Baptist Convention.
Listen to the initial statement of purpose drafted and approved by those present:
“Resolved, that for peace and harmony, and in order to accomplish the greatest amount of good, and for the maintenance of those scriptural principles on which the General Missionary Convention of the Baptist denomination of the United States was originally formed, it is proper that this Convention at once proceed to organize a Society for the propagation of the Gospel.”
“Peace and harmony…to accomplish the greatest amount of good…” are the tenets upon which cooperation was grounded. This goal challenged every church member to participate in every mission cause.
J. C. Penney once said, “Honor bespeaks worth. Confidence begets trust. Service brings satisfaction. Cooperation proves the quality of leadership.” If he is right, would it not be good to learn what the leaders who engineered the Cooperative Program believed about cooperation? In this era of marquee players, American Idols and superstars, why not let those who crafted what has become the life-line for Southern Baptist obedience to the Great Commission have some voice in today’s discussion?
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