In response to a proposed
amendment to the ByLaws of the national Ministers
Council Senate, the Ministers Council of the Greater Bay Area adopted
this statement at their meeting on April 12, 2005.
The mission statement of the Ministers Council
of the Greater Bay Area speaks
to the diversity of views represented by our Council members.
Our Mission Statement
To fulfill the Gospel mission, the American Baptist
Ministers Council of the
Greater Bay Area gathers as an inclusive community of persons in Christian
ministry for support, nurture and accountability.
Our Position on the Proposed By-Law Amendment
We strongly encourage a “NO” vote from
the Senate for the following reasons:
- The proposed By-Law change is not in keeping
with the mission of the
Ministers Council of the Greater Bay Area.
- The By-Law change does not respect the autonomy
of local minister’s
councils to elect a Senator who they feel would best represent the
interests and concerns of their members.
- According to its mission statement, the ABC Ministers
Council is an“organization of ordained, commissioned and lay Christian
the American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A.”. In the ABC/USA
ordination comes through the local church. The power and authority
to ordain resides with the local church which is an autonomous body.
The ABC Ministers Council is a representative body of those called
by the local churches. Consequently, it is not within the authority
of the ABC Ministers Council to bar any representative who has been
duly ordained by the local church and appointed by the local minister
councils. The proposed By-Law change violates the authority and autonomy
of the local church to ordain those who they have determined are called
An Adobe Acrobat version
of this statement is available.
For more information on the ByLaws proposal and the
"Jerusalem Council" process, see the national Ministers