Those who attended the quadrennial session, witnessed the meltdown of a political coalition to be remembered for some time to come. The cartoonish series posted on the TFS blog (theforgottenshepherdess.wordpress.com) came to life as the characters, depicted in the stories, acted out there dramatic roles for all constituents to see. If the drama had played out exactly as the “Pack” (a group who formed a coalition) had planned, our conference would have entered into a political cold war era. From the very start of the session, the “Pack’s” strategy started de-icing.
The melting process started when Dr. Carlton Byrd withdrew his nomination. The withdrawal tossed the “Pack” into a political scramble to find a potential nominee that could fill his shoes. The “Pack” developed a series of scenarios to present to the nominating committee should their first seminal plan fail. The first of the series of scenarios they would put forth would be to present the name of a former pastor of the SWRC (Southwest Region Conference) out of the nominating committee whom they believed could become the next president. If the “Pack’s” plan succeeded with their politically questionable schemes for the future, it would have changed the course of the conference for the next eight years or more.
What happened? They didn’t calculate that the constituents would vote down the nominee because of several reasons predominately the elapsed time that the individual has been serving in other conferences causing him to lose valuable personal relationships with delegates within this constituency. Even though the Pack’s second nominee had great credentials and was a true son of the southwest, this was a detrimental factor. Name recognition can no longer be a predominant factor in selecting leadership. That message was sent loud and clear by the delegates.
A derailment occurred through a miscalculated, catastrophic failure of a questionable political process visibly operational by the Pack. The delegates saw this process and voted the nominee down with a decisive vote. Contributing further to the derailment, the secretly formed coalition also under estimated the 14,000 readers of this blog and contributors who discussed local conference issues and concerns. The blog made an impact on the meeting. The end game occurred when the “Pack” realized that their desired preferred nominee could not win and their unholy coalition.
Next, the nominating committee needed a name the delegation could accept. At this point it became evident through the nomination of the Secretary of the Southwestern Union that the spiritual forces of heaven were at work. By the committee’s nomination of the Union Secretary, a person of impeccable credentials and experience, when his name hit the floor a sigh of relief permeated the sanctuary. Elder Samuel Green went on to become the next President of the SWRC.
In retrospect, the newly elected Union President should be commended for skillfully guiding the session as Chairman. He demonstrated that experience, pastoral leadership and skill are important in critical constituency elections as witnessed in the one we just experienced. The Union President took control with respect and grace. We commend him for a job well done.
Elder Sam Green, The new President of the SWRC, galvanized the people into unity by artfully speaking in a tone of healing and reconciliation. This brought the gathering to solidarity. Delegates left the session humbled that the newly elected president was God’s choice.
A Note of Commendation
(Flowing through the Adventist Grapevine)
At a hotel in Cleburne Texas, one of the delegates suddenly became ill. A female delegate exiting off the elevator recognized that the delegate was having a medical event. After advising him to seek hospital care she left but turned around. When she arrived back at the hotel he obviously needed urgent care immediately. The desk would not call 911 and pointed to the nearby hospital. By that time another delegate, a noted physician, getting off the elevator checked his vital signs and then firmly requested the desk to call 911 right away. Both women followed the ambulance to the hospital and remained until he received adequate care and was out of danger. When I heard this story I was astounded at the unity we still have this conference. How we can come together in times of happiness and despair and thrive with God’s grace.
We must stand together and support our newly elected president and his administration. The Forgotten Shepherdess has personally assured me that this blog will continue to provoke thought and raise important questions in the years to come. God Bless this Blog and God Bless Southwest Region Conference.