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"There should be an 'Abstract of Principles', or careful statement of theological belief, which every professor in such an institution must sign when inaugurated, so as to guard against the rise of erroneous and injurious instruction in such a seat of sacred learning."

James P. Boyce
from "Three Changes in
Theological Institutions"
- summarized by John Broadus, 1856

Press Statements
January 6, 2006

Morris H. Chapman, Chief Executive Officer
Executive Committee
Southern Baptist Convention

“We’re all saddened by Lonnie Latham’s alleged actions along with the subsequent charge against him. Our heartfelt concern goes out to Lonnie, his family, church, and community in South Tulsa. The emotional anguish must be agonizing for these who know him best. They are on our hearts and in our prayers.

While saddened, we also are faced with the truth of God’s Word that disobeying God always brings consequences. This is a principle of God’s Word that Lonnie has preached and fully understands. As a result he has done the proper thing by resigning as pastor of his church and as a member of both the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma Executive Board and the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). We have been praying that Lonnie would understand the importance of acknowledging his moral failure, the need for repentance, the consequences of his sin, and a willingness to seek help. Already God has begun to answer our prayers and we are grateful.

The news services have flashed the news around the world with each article mentioning that Lonnie was serving as a member of the SBC Executive Committee. Obviously, this news has brought negative attention to the Southern Baptist Convention and Baptists in Oklahoma. It has opened the door for those who seem to relish the failure of any Christian. It has given an opportunity for those who will to seize the moment to mock the Christian heritage to which Lonnie has testified through the years.

Of course, Christians are human and among 16 million Southern Baptists there will be moral lapses. When it happens, we grieve for the family, the church, the denomination, and God’s Kingdom and we pray for complete rehabilitation of the one(s) who has fallen. Regardless of what others may say, the failure of one does not negate the witness of many faithful Christians to the power of Jesus Christ in their lives. The hypocrisy of a messenger does not compromise the integrity of the message. The Bible is no less true than it was a week ago or years ago. It continues to offer hope to all who will believe, including Lonnie and the rest of us.”

Morris H. Chapman
President & Chief Executive Officer
Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention
901 Commerce Street
Nashville, TN 37067


Rob Zinn, Chairman
Executive Committee
Southern Baptist Convention

“My heart was broken to hear the report today about Lonnie Latham. My first response was to pray for him, his family, church and the work of the Southern Baptist Convention. At this moment, the best that we can do is pray - God knows all the facts, the truth and the situation and He is able. Our responsibility is to pray for those involved and not let this one incident sidetrack us from the work He had called us to do.”

Rob Zinn
Pastor, Immanuel Baptist Church
28355 E. Baseline Road
Highland, CA 92346

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