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Keith Burden

one to one

A Step in the Right Direction



One to One is a regular feature of ONE Magazine. Written by Keith Burden, executive secretary of the National Association of Free Will Baptists, the column explores life, ministry...and grandkids!


The procedure for electing officers of the National Association is listed in the By-Laws of the Treatise. While the process was adequate to accomplish the task, it was not detailed enough to prevent flaws and abuses that allowed inequality.

During the 2007 convention in Little Rock, Arkansas, the Executive Committee requested authorization to review the nominating process used during the annual convention and bring back recommendations the following year. Permission was granted.

Recommendations to clarify the process were submitted in writing to the 2008 convention in Charleston, West Virginia. Since the proposed changes necessitated amending the By-Laws, the matter was tabled until the 2009 convention in Cincinnati, Ohio.




Delegates in Cincinnati approved the proposed changes to the nominating process and those changes go into effect at the 2010 convention in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. That process, as it now appears in the Treatise, is detailed on page 50 of this issue of ONE Magazine.

Details regarding the submission of nominations for positions to be elected at the 2010 convention can also be found in this issue of ONE. Some may find this process complicated or difficult to understand. Therefore, I have written the following simplified summary:


  1. A nominating committee member will not allow his name to be placed into nomination for any position. If he accepts the nomination, he will resign from the nominating committee.

  2. The nominating committee functions only as a body. Outside discussions among committee members are to be avoided.

  3. The nomination schedule for the upcoming national convention will be published each year in the October-November issue of ONE Magazine. The name and contact information for the chairman of the nominating committee will appear with this schedule. Nominations accompanied by a brief résumé must be submitted in writing exclusively to the chairman on or before November 30.

  4. A list of the nominating committee’s recommendations will be published in the April-May issue of ONE Magazine.

  5. Nominations may be submitted on the floor of the national convention. However, these nominations must be in writing, accompanied by a brief résumé and read by the clerk.


Is this a perfect process? Probably not; however, it is an improvement. Why?


  • The process becomes more objective for the nominating committee members

  • It eliminates gratuitous endorsements for candidates on the floor of the convention.

  • Nominees are more likely to be considered on the basis of their qualifications.

  • Delegates are better equipped to make informed decisions.


Free Will Baptists understand denominational work is serious business. We believe the matter of selecting individuals to serve in leadership positions on boards and commissions deserves our best effort. We can do better. Hopefully, this new process is a step in that direction.



©2009 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists