What's up for Birmingham?

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What's up for Birmingham?

Postby Sandy » Tue May 07, 2019 9:23 pm

So, CBF will follow the SBC into Birmingham this summer. The city should be pretty appreciative of Baptists. Apparently, there are not many rooms available close to the convention center and one of them has a number of rooms that won't be available due to a maintenance issue. Birmingham isn't one of the places that comes to mind when I think of convention destinations. The only meetings I've attended in Alabama, all of them Baptist gatherings, were at Shocco Springs. I flew in and out of Birmingham, a small airport with not so great connections to anywhere unless it's Atlanta. I've driven through on the interstate, both 20 and 65. I've only been off the interstate there twice, once to go to a football game at Legion Field, a drive through a terrible neighborhood that made me think I was completely lost until there, looming ahead in the distance, was the football stadium. The other time was a short trip to eat at Dreamland Barbeque, an absolutely heavently place in a not so bad neighborhood. The interstates don't really give you a view of nice parts of town. But I digress...

I've heard very little about anything coming up at this year's CBF assembly. It's been very quiet following the announcement of Paul Baxley as exec coordinator. I haven't seen much discussion of anything in their publications or news releases. Since participants register individually and they don't have to be elected by their church they usually get a pretty decent turnout. Not that there's ever much controversy at the assemblies, they are usually pretty tightly controlled. Anyone here have any insights as to what is on their agenda?
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Re: What's up for Birmingham?

Postby Neil Heath » Thu May 09, 2019 12:04 pm

I would add that I've been told that every interstate bridge in the city is closed for repairs, etc. That will make getting around worse.

I have a hotel reservation that provides shuttle service to the meetings, but I will probably cancel it. 3 Nights will all the taxes and fees is just under $500. Then there's gas and food. That's pretty steep to see old friends for a few days.
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Re: What's up for Birmingham?

Postby Rvaughn » Thu May 09, 2019 1:27 pm

Sandy wrote:The other time was a short trip to eat at Dreamland Barbeque, an absolutely heavently place in a not so bad neighborhood.
We have mostly just been through and around Birmingham. Our experiences eating there were on both ends of the spectrum. At an Arbys years ago we had one of the absolutely worst experiences of the staff getting an order incorrect, and they never could get it right. We finally just threw up our hands in despair. On the other end was the great food experience at Eagle's Restaurant. We went there particularly because two people wanted to try the oxtail; it and everything else was excellent. Around on the east side in Irondale we were able to visit an old friend who was dying, and eat with him at the Irondale Cafe. Another good experience. The latter two I definitely recommend for folks looking to eat in the Birmingham area.
Neil Heath wrote:I would add that I've been told that every interstate bridge in the city is closed for repairs, etc. That will make getting around worse.
Sounds like it is the bridges in downtown on 59/20. Interstate through downtown to be closed 14 months (beginning Jan 2019) according to these sites:
https://expo.al.com/news/g66l-2019/05/fa7b429c2b9230/latest-photos-from-the-i5920-bridge-construction-through-downtown-birmingham.html
https://www.al.com/news/birmingham/2018/12/i-5920-in-downtown-birmingham-will-close-for-14-months-starting-in-january-here-are-the-detours.html
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Re: What's up for Birmingham?

Postby Haruo » Thu May 09, 2019 10:28 pm

I think the only off-campus food experience I had in Birmingham was a visit to a shopping center food court near Samford where I had my only experience with Chick Fil A, not unpleasant, but nothing to make me want to switch from Burger King, Burger Town, and Taco Time; and Genki Sushi and the delis at Pete's and Marketime.
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Re: What's up for Birmingham?

Postby Sandy » Fri May 10, 2019 11:50 am

That bridge construction seems endless and happens just about every time I've gone through Birmingham. Last time, in 2010, it was at I-65 and I-20-59. Long backup getting through. We were moving and on our way to Pennsylvania. Well, that's an incentive to stay at the hotel near the convention center.

Dreamland Barbeque is worth the drive. It's in a relatively safe neighborhood and the food is fantastic.
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Re: What's up for Birmingham?

Postby Dave Roberts » Sat May 11, 2019 6:27 am

Most interesting thing I find about the Birmingham site is that the SBC and CBF are both using the same convention facility. Interesting that the SBC now fits in a facility that easily holds CBF. No more gigantic conventions.
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Re: What's up for Birmingham?

Postby Rvaughn » Sat May 11, 2019 12:04 pm

Why Are Fewer Messengers Attending the SBC Annual Meeting? lists the registered messengers at the Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting over the past 50 years. A very discernible drop, but probably not anything unique to the SBC. For example, the non-SBC local association of the church I grew up in, over about the same period, has gone from a well-attended two-day meeting to a poorly attended morning-only session that doesn't even end with a meal. Any idea what the CBF registered attendance looks like?

1967 Miami Beach – 14,794
1968 Houston – 15,071
1969 New Orleans – 16,678
1970 Denver – 13,692
1971 St. Louis – 13,153
1972 Philadelphia – 13,153
1973 Portland – 8,871
1974 Dallas – 18,190
1975 Miami Beach – 16,421
1976 Norfolk – 18,637
1977 Kansas City – 16,271
1978 Atlanta – 22,872
1979 Houston – 15,947
1980 St. Louis – 13,844
1981 Los Angeles – 13,529
1982 New Orleans – 20,456
1983 Pittsburgh – 13,740
1984 Kansas City – 17,101
1985 Dallas – 45,519
1986 Atlanta – 40,987
1987 St. Louis – 25,607
1988 San Antonio – 32,727
1989 Las Vegas – 20,411
1990 New Orleans – 38,403
1991 Atlanta – 23,465
1992 Indianapolis – 17,956
1993 Houston – 17,768
1994 Orlando – 20,370
1995 Atlanta – 20,654
1996 New Orleans – 13,706
1997 Dallas – 12,420
1998 Salt Lake – 8,585
1999 Atlanta – 11,608
2000 Orlando – 11,959
2001 New Orleans – 9,584
2002 St. Louis – 9,609
2003 Phoenix – 7,015
2004 Indianapolis – 8,600
2005 Nashville – 11,641
2006 Greensboro – 11,639
2007 San Antonio – 8,630
2008 Indianapolis – 7,277
2009 Louisville – 8,795
2010 Orlando – 11,075
2011 Phoenix – 4,852
2012 New Orleans – 7,874
2013 Houston – 5,103
2014 Baltimore – 5,298
2015 Columbus – 5,407
2016 St. Louis – 7,321
2017 Phoenix – 5,018 (unofficial)
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Re: What's up for Birmingham?

Postby Dave Roberts » Sat May 11, 2019 2:19 pm

Most CBF meetings seem to average from 2,00 to 3,500, depending on the location.
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Re: What's up for Birmingham?

Postby JE Pettibone » Sat May 11, 2019 8:06 pm

Rvaughn wrote:Why Are Fewer Messengers Attending the SBC Annual Meeting? lists the registered messengers at the Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting over the past 50 years. A very discernible drop, but probably not anything unique to the SBC. For example, the non-SBC local association of the church I grew up in, over about the same period, has gone from a well-attended two-day meeting to a poorly attended morning-only session that doesn't even end with a meal. Any idea what the CBF registered attendance looks like?

1967 Miami Beach – 14,794
1968 Houston – 15,071
1969 New Orleans – 16,678
1970 Denver – 13,692
1971 St. Louis – 13,153
1972 Philadelphia – 13,153
1973 Portland – 8,871
1974 Dallas – 18,190
1975 Miami Beach – 16,421
1976 Norfolk – 18,637
1977 Kansas City – 16,271
1978 Atlanta – 22,872
1979 Houston – 15,947
1980 St. Louis – 13,844
1981 Los Angeles – 13,529
1982 New Orleans – 20,456
1983 Pittsburgh – 13,740
1984 Kansas City – 17,101
1985 Dallas – 45,519
1986 Atlanta – 40,987
1987 St. Louis – 25,607
1988 San Antonio – 32,727
1989 Las Vegas – 20,411
1990 New Orleans – 38,403
1991 Atlanta – 23,465
1992 Indianapolis – 17,956
1993 Houston – 17,768
1994 Orlando – 20,370
1995 Atlanta – 20,654
1996 New Orleans – 13,706
1997 Dallas – 12,420
1998 Salt Lake – 8,585
1999 Atlanta – 11,608
2000 Orlando – 11,959
2001 New Orleans – 9,584
2002 St. Louis – 9,609
2003 Phoenix – 7,015
2004 Indianapolis – 8,600
2005 Nashville – 11,641
2006 Greensboro – 11,639
2007 San Antonio – 8,630
2008 Indianapolis – 7,277
2009 Louisville – 8,795
2010 Orlando – 11,075
2011 Phoenix – 4,852
2012 New Orleans – 7,874
2013 Houston – 5,103
2014 Baltimore – 5,298
2015 Columbus – 5,407
2016 St. Louis – 7,321
2017 Phoenix – 5,018 (unofficial)


Ed: My short answer would be the fundamentalist takeove.
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Re: What's up for Birmingham?

Postby Rvaughn » Sat May 11, 2019 8:27 pm

Dave Roberts wrote:Most CBF meetings seem to average from 2,000 to 3,500, depending on the location.
It would seem to me, then, that the CBF probably has a higher percentage attendance to membership ratio.
JE Pettibone wrote:Ed: My short answer would be the fundamentalist takeover.
I would think that is far too simplistic. Obviously, churches that pulled out and joined the CBF and Alliance of Baptists are going to account for a drop in the number. On the other hand, it seems to me that SBC churches that are far right fundamentalists in comparison to the conservative leadership also aren't all that interested in the business operations of the convention. Add to that, the fact that many denominations which aren't conservative or fundamentalist are also losing steam; all this makes me believe there is something much more than "the fundamentalist takeover" causing the problem.

Anyway, sorry for deflecting the discussion, which it seems is supposed to be more about what the CBF will be doing in Birmingham.
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Re: What's up for Birmingham?

Postby Sandy » Sun May 12, 2019 10:13 am

It's a different generation now. Meetings requiring travel and long periods of "sit and listen" for church or denominational business are not as popular as they once were.

The moderates who controlled the SBC prior to 1979 registered and attended the convention in numbers larger than their actual constituency in the churches because they were there to keep the trustee boards stacked in their favor and maintain control of the entities and seminaries. When conservatives began their effort to gain control, they gathered a constituency that had largely given up on convention participation because they felt shut out by the same old people rotating around the committees and boards and never got anywhere It took an effort to turn out more messengers from that constituency than had been coming before 1979, and then sustaining that turnout for at least a decade to make any progress in changing the makeup of the boards and committees and replacing the entrenched bureaucracy, So convention attendance soared to the point where only a handful of cities had facilities to host an SBC meeting. Once the conservatives had control and were able to maintain their convention majorities, the moderates dropped out of their once robust attendance.

By comparison, CBF does not limit the number of individuals from any single church who can register for the assembly. But from what I've observed, there's far less "business" in a CBF assembly and a lot more speechmaking and breakout sessions. Not much to vote on there and since the last time I attended one, even less under the new organization where the coordinating council conducts most of the business. In the SBC, the most messengers any church can send is 10, based on a combination of their Cooperative Program support and their total membership. Most churches, even smaller ones, qualify for the max. The numbers go down when the conventions are held in places that are further away from Dixieland so the numbers are lower in places like Phoenix, Indianapolis or Columbus.
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Re: What's up for Birmingham?

Postby Haruo » Sun May 12, 2019 11:58 am

I attended the last half an hour or 45 minutes of the Evergreen Regional board meeting yesterday. It was interesting. Lots of involvement by Burmese and Hispanic folks. The main (and rather depressing) topic for the time I was there was about the imminent closing of FBC Palo Alto. Depressing but also very interesting, and apparently it means there will soon be a place for a church plant.
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Re: What's up for Birmingham?

Postby JE Pettibone » Sun May 12, 2019 1:02 pm

Rvaughn wrote:
Dave Roberts wrote:Most CBF meetings seem to average from 2,000 to 3,500, depending on the location.
It would seem to me, then, that the CBF probably has a higher percentage attendance to membership ratio.

JE Pettibone wrote:Ed: My short answer would be the fundamentalist takeover.


I would think that is far too simplistic. Obviously, churches that pulled out and joined the CBF and Alliance of Baptists are going to account for a drop in the number. On the other hand, it seems to me that SBC churches that are far right fundamentalists in comparison to the conservative leadership also aren't all that interested in the business operations of the convention. Add to that, the fact that many denominations which aren't conservative or fundamentalist are also losing steam; all this makes me believe there is something much more than "the fundamentalist takeover" causing the problem.

Anyway, sorry for deflecting the discussion, which it seems is supposed to be more about what the CBF will be doing in Birmingham.


Ed: Since I will missing the CBF Assembly this year for the third time since 1997, I haven't paid a lot of attention to the promotional materials but I imagine there will as usual be a lot of good to excellent preaching, Fantastic worship music, wonderful fellowship and several breakout sessions most of which will be quite interesting and perhaps a few a bit disappointing.

And Robert, at the start only a few churches pulled out of the SBC prior to affiliating with , where few Alliance of Baptist.
In fact for many of us found CBF to be a preferred alternative to the Alliance for our understanding of doing church. Eventually after some years of being disenfranchised by the predominately far right leadership of the New SBC and watching them promote and support Liberty University and other Independent Baptist causes including the use of independent publishing house educational material over The SBC's own material, along with turning several state Baptist news journals into ultraconservative promotion pieces and with a distinct anti CBF animus, rather than reporting a wide range of Baptist News some of us found other Baptist Affiliations some went to other Denominations. However there are even now SBC Churches with significant CBF membership. My wife and I have now been Members of ABC churches for 21 years and active in CBF as individual members. Trudy even as an ABC Pastor was a member of the National CBF Coordinating Council, and we wher very active with the BFNE (Baptist Fellowship of the North East)
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Re: What's up for Birmingham?

Postby JE Pettibone » Sun May 12, 2019 1:06 pm

Haruo wrote:I attended the last half an hour or 45 minutes of the Evergreen Regional board meeting yesterday. It was interesting. Lots of involvement by Burmese and Hispanic folks. The main (and rather depressing) topic for the time I was there was about the imminent closing of FBC Palo Alto. Depressing but also very interesting, and apparently it means there will soon be a place for a church plant.


Ed: Note, here Haruo is talking ABC-USA.
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Re: What's up for Birmingham?

Postby Haruo » Sun May 12, 2019 6:34 pm

Yeah, not sure why I apparently posted that in CBF...
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Re: What's up for Birmingham?

Postby JE Pettibone » Mon May 13, 2019 9:08 am

Ed:for those concerned about driving in Birmingham, I last drove there in December of 2016, when we attended the Birmingham Bowl..Avoiding the interstate in and around the city.was no problem, of course I knew the basic layout from my days as a student at Howard College (now Samford University) when there was NO interstate, Buy a city map and use your GPS and you should be fine.
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Re: What's up for Birmingham?

Postby KeithE » Thu May 16, 2019 9:03 pm

JE Pettibone wrote:Ed:for those concerned about driving in Birmingham, I last drove there in December of 2016, when we attended the Birmingham Bowl..Avoiding the interstate in and around the city.was no problem, of course I knew the basic layout from my days as a student at Howard College (now Samford University) when there was NO interstate, Buy a city map and use your GPS and you should be fine.


I-59/I-20 is closed in front of the BJCC (where both conventions are taking place).

The maps at
https://www.al.com/news/birmingham/2018/12/i-5920-in-downtown-birmingham-will-close-for-14-months-starting-in-january-here-are-the-detours.html
show you how to get close from any direction (page down and look at maps with a small “BJCC” on them). The walk from parking will not much farther than without the construction.

Not sure much of this I will go to. But I’ll go for at least one day for the Resource Fair and maybe some Workshop talks that seem interesting (probably Thursday June 20)
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Re: What's up for Birmingham?

Postby KeithE » Sat Jun 08, 2019 10:20 am

My plans are to be at CBF Convention on Friday June 21 (drive down early and back late, Ann does not want to go). Stephen, if you want to go, I will swing by Collinsville at about 8:00 am on Friday and return you there Friday night. I’ll hang out at Resource Fair, possibly Business Session in the morning and Faith Lessons/Workshops in the afternoon. I will also play in the golf tournament on June 19 at Limestone Springs (between Huntsville and Birmingham).

The Longest Day bridge tournament is on June 20 in Huntsville (event fees go to Alzheimer's Association). June 18 is my birthday (69).

Busy week.
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