17 November, 2007

Church Splits Over Robert's Rules 10th Edition

Glendell, MS – Pastor Honus Johnson confessed to TBNN Thursday, November 15th that, “Yes, Daleside Baptist Church has apparently split.” According to SBC reports prior to the split, this 287-member congregation averaged 48 attendees during Sunday morning services during the September 1, 2006 to August 31, 2007 church year. The Sunday School average was a respectable 30, or 62.5% of the church attendees. “We used to get along so well,” said a dejected Pastor Johnson.

However, on Sunday, November 4th at the regular business meeting scheduled for the 1st Sunday of each month, there was great division among the 26 voting members (those present who were 12 and over and have been baptized since walking the aisle for real). The division was centered around which version of Robert’s Rules of Order is authoritative.

At the November 4th meeting, there were those who were adamant about the 1915 4th edition and took the side of Dale Williams. “We have been using Robert’s Rules of Order, Revised, 4th Edition since this church was founded in 1916,” said Dale Williams, Head Deacon. “I have NEVER and will NEVER belong to a church that does not adhere to these old doctrinal truths! I will stand on these promises! Give me Robert’s Rules of Order, Revised, 4th Edition, or give me death!”

Others took the side of Lane Steve, Jr., the song leader’s son who came home for the weekend from his studies at New Orleans Baptist Theological seminary. This semester, Steve Jr. dropped his elective evangelism and discipleship classes, but has continued to take the mandatory class on Conflict Resolution. Steve Jr. recently learned that Robert’s Rules of Order had been revised 6 times since 1915, and the current update is now the 10th Edition.

Having been placed on Daleside's Constitution & Bylaws Revision Committee during the summer, Steve Jr. felt it his duty to suggest that Robert’s Rules of Order, Revised, 10th edition become the new rule for business meetings. In a special called meeting of the Constitution and Bylaws Revision Committee on Friday, November 2nd, the revision committee voted unanimously to change the authoritative edition from the 4th to the 10th edition.

“The old edition just doesn’t make sense in so many ways,” said Steve Jr. “That’s why the Contitution and Bylaws Revision Committee brought the suggested change before the church on November 4th. I had no idea that Deacon Williams was married to the 4th edition.”

Although no other business was conducted on the 4th, after proper discussion and after a proper call for the vote (which is consistent with the rules of either edition) the new 10th edition was approved by a vote of 14 to 12.

At the end of the night, Head Deacon Williams vowed never to return to Daleside. Over the next 10 days or so, Pastor Johnson discovered that Deacon Williams had convinced all 11 other “no” votes plus a 5 member family that had voted for the new 10th edition to stop attending Daleside and begin attending First Baptist Glendell. First Baptist Glendell still lists Robert’s Rules of Order, 3rd Edition from 1893 as its authority in its Constitution & Bylaws. “I’d rather stick with the 4th edition, but if I can’t, I’ll take a more conservative edition than one of these new-fangled books,” said Williams.

Just before printing this article, TBNN researchers discovered an interesting fact. Archive records of First Baptist from the early 1900's are still stored in filing cabinets in the Middle Adult Sunday School class. It appears First Baptist split in 1916 after Garland Williams, the grandfather of Dale Williams, motioned to adopt the new Robert’s Rules of Order, Revised, 4th Edition of 1915. The motion was defeated and Daleside was formed the next year.


Tim Ashcraft said...

Why do we need all these new editions anyway? If the old was good enough for our ancestors....

Darrin said...

I wonder if man is elevated further with each edition of this work, as he is in the doctrines of our consecutive Confessions of Faith through the years.

Brother Slawson said...

I've always thought of improvements in Robert as necessary for the body of believers to become more perfect. With each improvement in Robert, we're closer to perfection.

Stefan said...

Hilarious! Too bad they're not relying on the Greatest Order Book of All (you know, the one that's 66 volumes bound together) for governance....