Questions for the “Prince of Parliament” – SBC Voices

That prince would not be Barry McCarty, nor my favorite parliamentarian, Amy Whitfield, but Patrick Hues Mell (1814-1888) who was president of the SBC longer than any other man, two terms in total for 15 years.

I have been to many SBC meetings, major annual meetings, state conventions, and association meetings. I presided over many church business meetings. The most interesting thing about the parliamentary procedure was when Charles Stanley was president. There were difficult parliamentary matters then.

Probably the worst outlook for lawmakers was achieved by a recent live broadcast from the Nashville Executive Committee meeting. Rolland Slade presided, but Barry McCarty was immediately given parliamentary instructions on each issue. This is not a complaint to Slade or McCarty, but if the camera puts them both on the screen, McCarty behind President Slade, it just seems that McCarty is managing things.

During later disputed EC meetings that were zoomed in, the problem was resolved. McCarty was almost always off camera.

But this is 2021, not 1884. In correspondence with others. With Mell, forever the prince of parliamentarians, one JH Wideman from Bradley County, SC, questioned the verdicts in which Mell out of order rejected the proposal for a vote of “viva voce” officials. “Voting was on the agenda. Wideman informed Mella that his verdicts had been adopted by his local association moderator, citing a prominent parliamentarian in his remarks calling for a vote only.

That would have come back had the association’s meetings been important and attended. Who cares? In addition to the pastor, the associate moderator, he has twice been my top SBC office. Unfortunately, unpaid, except for a free meal from the host church.

Wondering what else. Mell said about remote voting?


A photo from the Wiki list of the SBC president, and why isn’t Adrian wearing a coat and tie on that list? I doubt he ever stood behind a pulpit or a rostrum without it.

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