Vice President Mike Pence is the keynote speaker Wednesday at the Southern Baptist Convention's annual two-day meeting in Dallas. His appearance comes on the heels of Pastor Paige Patterson's removal from the Theological Seminary amid allegations he mishandled reports of abuse.
“Sometimes these scandals come up and problems arise and how to deal with them becomes a debate, and just like anything political, feelings are hurt and perhaps some accusations might fly,” says Dr. Shannon Holzer at Houston Baptist University.
“For Paige Patterson to step down and let Vice President Pence step up, I think that's a wise decision,” he says.
Dr. Holzer believes Pence has consistently brought a voice of reason to the discussion, whether it be over the president of the United States, or even within his own denomination.
“He's very level-headed, rational, reasonable and respectable,” he says. “Generally, whatever comes out from him is a positive thing.”
Gov. Greg Abbott addressed the convention Tuesday, speaking of the ongoing battle over religious freedom in the U.S.
“Religious liberty in America is at a time of crisis as some time try to silence the faithful and purge God from the public square,” he said. “In the face of challenges against people of faith, Texas has adopted the attitude pray as if everything depends upon God, but work as if everything depends upon Texas.”
The convention also elected North Carolina Pastor J.D. Greear its new president.