“Calling the Family Back Together” was a research report to Southern Baptists prepared by Lloyd Elder in 1993. A native of Dallas, Texas, Elder served as Assistant to the Executive Director of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, 1975-1978, and then Executive Vice-President at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas, 1978-1983. He was elected President of the Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention in 1983, and served until his forced retirement in 1991. After leaving his position at the Board, he became professor at Belmont University and Chair of Biblical Studies and Preaching. In 1996, he was named Director of the Moench Center at Belmont University. The center was established to provide leadership skills for ministers. He retired from that position in 2004.
The 16-page report, which includes both narrative and statistical data and 20 charts, was released May 8, 1993, on the 148th anniversary of the organization of the Southern Baptist Convention. The report seeks to summarize critical trends for years 1980 toward 2000, and concludes that the missionary enterprise of the SBC is in crisis proportion. Released near the end of the Convention’s Controversy years of the 1980s and 1990s, Elder presents a clarion call for the “conservative faction,” the “moderate faction,” and the “people faction” of the Southern Baptist family to work together to reverse the critical trends. As outlined in the report, his vision for the SBC includes calling the family back together, stopping the destructive controversy, enlarging local church participation, establishing an SBC/state convention partnership, restoring representation for the whole family, creating a new stable center for mission support among the people, increasing mission giving toward faithfulness and sacrifice, and continuing with the kingdom business of missions. The report includes Elder’s 20-point Action Plan to achieve his proposed vision for the SBC. The report is any word searchable.