Mo. Baptist Convention to address stem-cell issue

Friday, October 27, 2006

Delegates will debate and vote on several resolutions next week.

When 2,000 Missouri Baptist Convention members convene in Cape Girardeau next week, the state's proposed stem-cell amendment is expected to be one of the controversial issues addressed.

The 172nd annual meeting of the Missouri Baptist Convention opens at the Show Me Center on Monday and continues through late Wednesday morning.

During the three-day meeting, convention delegates will debate and vote on several resolutions. They are expected to address the issues around stem-cell research.

Two years ago, the convention passed a resolution opposing embryonic stem-cell research but favoring adult stem-cell research, said Don Hinkle, editor of the convention's official newsjournal.

This year's resolution would go beyond that, Hinkle said, possibly addressing Amendment 2, which if passed would amend the state constitution to prevent restrictions on embryonic stem-cell research. "I don't think anybody's going to be surprised that Southern Baptists are pretty much opposed to this," he said.

Richard Land, president of the ethics and religious library commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, will close out the event at 11 a.m. Wednesday with an address expected to touch on the controversy. Hinkle said the speech would likely be a "fiery attack" on embryonic stem-cell research and human cloning.

More than 60 Southern Baptist missionaries will be appointed to various assignments around the world Tuesday night.

Hinkle said sermons will also be delivered throughout the meeting. "It's really a mixture of business and worship," he said.

All sessions are open to the public.

Melvin Gateley, a member of the Lynwood Baptist Church and member of the convention's historical commission, is looking forward to showcasing the newly rebuilt Old Bethel Baptist Church in Jackson for meeting attendees.

A restoration project began on the 200-year-old church, owned by the convention, just over a year ago. The finishing touches will be put on the project just before the meeting begins.

kmorrison@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 127

Want to go?

What: Missouri Baptist Convention's 172nd annual meeting

Where: Show Me Center, 1333 N. Sprigg St.

When: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday

8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday

8:30 a.m. to noon Wednesday

For a detailed schedule of events, visit www.mobaptist.org/am2006

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