Watch for The Second Coming of the “Conservative Caucus”in Florence


“By God’s grace,To God’s glory.”The Conservative Caucus located in Spartanburg at North Spartanburg First has not faded away into a non-political stance in SC.Their political machine is ALIVE and well.They are,in my opinion ,”addicted to power and control.They still have not gotten over Don Wilton being elected President two years ago.Just recently they endorsed Jim Oliver as First Vice President.Quinn Hooks had already publicly announced his intention to be nominated as First V.P.Quinn’s credentials are empeccable and he has a consistent record of giving to the CP.He is accomplished in administrative skills,an articulate preacher and a solid conservative.The caucus still insisted on promoting Oliver.I have confidence that SC Baptists can and will think for themseves in Florence.The caucus has not gone away.They will be in Florence with both barrels of their political shot-gun loaded.Be alert!!!!By the way,Disregard Phillip’s tear jerking letter below.Never forget that Al is Mike Hamlet’s “hatchet”man.

Quotable Quotes From Quotable People. »

Al Phillips Declares S.C.Baptist Convention,”Free At Last,Free At Last!!!”

May 30, 2007

Dear Brothers,

It hardly seems possible that it has been nearly 20 years since the fateful
Spartanburg convention that led to the beginning of the conservative movement in our state.  Most of the pastors in our state now were not even here in those days and most of the rest of us can barely remember what the atmosphere was like.  Back then SC, like most state conventions, was pretty firmly controlled by moderates.  Conservatives were largely excluded from leadership and from our boards.  Most of our schools were unhealthy and sliding into liberalism.  Those who took stands on the social issues we faced in our culture at state conventions were roundly condemned by the leadership.  I can remember going to my first convention at
Myrtle Beach when I was in my first pastorate right out of seminary.  At that convention, a conservative leader tried to question whether or not abortions were being provided at the
Hospital in
Columbia.  He was roundly booed when he went to the microphone to ask that question and his questions were not answered.  Moderates remained solidly entrenched in the SCBC.  Meanwhile, conservatives were steadily winning back the SBC as the Conservative Resurgence took place nationally. 

In 1988, the Nominating Committee met at White Oak.  That year, a couple of conservative leaders had been appointed to the Committee on Committees and they were able to put some conservatives on the Nominating Committee.  Those conservatives, in turn, nominated some well-known conservative leaders to serve on the SCBC Executive Committee (this is before it became the Executive Board).  The moderate leadership of the state was alarmed and furious and immediately planned a response.  A small group of moderates on the Nominating Committee brought a “minority report” to the convention meeting in
Spartanburg.  Moderates across the state turned out their people, mostly unsuspecting senior adults, and voted narrowly in favor of the minority report.  In effect, this replaced eight conservatives with eight moderate leaders.  At the same time, a conservative pastor who was nominated for president of the state convention was defeated after a smear campaign by moderate leaders who sent letters and launched attacks for weeks leading up the convention.  The treatment was humiliating and led conservatives in the state finally take action.

The following summer, conservatives from across the state gathered in
Columbia and decided to choose a candidate they could all support.  That conservative lost by less than 100 votes.  This was the first serious challenge the moderate leadership in the state had faced.  Conservatives met again the following year and this time elected a conservative layman as president.  We have elected a conservative each year since.  The result has been dramatic.  Our state became the first state convention to reflect the conservative resurgence that was taking place at the SBC level.  Our schools have become solidly conservative with evangelism and missions being at the heart of their mission.  They are all growing and healthy with solid leaders at their helms.  The Executive Board has become conservative as have the major boards and committees of our state.  We have become a leader in the SBC when it comes to stands on key social issues such as the sanctity of life and marriage, stem cell research, gambling and alcohol abuse.  The new conservative leadership created an atmosphere of evangelism and missions and revitalized the participation of conservative churches in the state.  Churches that had drifted toward being independent returned to the fold. 

There is no longer a real liberal threat to our state and its institutions.  For that reason, it is my belief that the conservative meeting we have held each year in
Columbia to recommend conservative candidates is no longer needed.  In fact, not only is it no longer needed, I believe it has become counter-productive.  Other conservative brothers across the state who have chosen not to be part of our meeting or who have not been privy to it have come to see our meeting as divisive and exclusivist.  We could argue with them but to what ends?  What would it accomplish?  SC is now a solidly conservative state.  I believe it is time for us to fade into history, having accomplished our goal of bringing SC back to its conservative, Bible-believing roots. 

We have had more than one conservative run for office in each of the last two years.  We will certainly have that happen more often in the years ahead.  The man who won each of the last two years was as conservative as the man our group agreed to support.  The system we have in place whereby the president appoints a Committee on Committees that nominates a Nominating Committee which nominates trustees for our boards is working.  As long as we elect conservative, Bible-believing presidents, it will continue to work.  Let’s allow it to work.  Let’s see who comes forward each year as candidates to lead our state. Let’s decide as individuals who we are going to support from year to year after we have prayed about it and sought the Lord.  Once we decide who to vote for, let’s do it without campaigning and never question others who do not agree with us or who vote for another conservative candidate. Let’s covenant together that we will not attack other candidates or each other.  Let’s support the people who are elected with all our hearts and pray for them and help them any way we can. Let’s agree to be alert and watch carefully in the years ahead so that we do not slip back into the liberal drift that characterized our state before we stepped forward. 

I want you to know that I am not going to call a meeting this year.  I hope you understand and will agree with me on these matters.  Obviously, you are all free to do as you please but this is my conviction after much prayer and thought.  It has been my great honor to have been part of this brotherhood and this cause.  I love each of you and appreciate all you have done. In the years ahead, no one will remember our names or understand fully what we have accomplished.  That is fine with me.  We know what we did and what it cost us. Above all the Lord knows our hearts and our true motives in all our efforts.  Now, let’s stay focused on the main thing.  Let’s work hard to build our churches and reach people with the Gospel and finish the Great Commission.  I’ll see you at the SBC or in
Florence in November.  God bless and use you.

Till All May Know,

Al Phillips         

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13 Comments on “Watch for The Second Coming of the “Conservative Caucus”in Florence”

  1. pastorinthewoods Says:


  2. I hope to catch up on my reading while at Patmos.I will have my Bible,a Strong’s exhaustive concordance and the “Hatchet”man’s fake good -by letter posted here.The Bible will feed my soul,the concordance can be used as a weapon to ward off wolves and the “letter”will serve as a reminder that I fear no man,not even the political machine in Spartanburg.
    The “hatchet”man can’t knock me off the ladder because I’m not trying to climb up the ladder.However,by the grace of our Sovereign LORD,I’m climbing Jacob’s ladder and thats the one that will take His “sheep”to glory.Who cares about the ladder to the Baptist Building?The very height of hypocrisy is for Pastors to play politics and jockey for position in the SCBC.To me it stinks and it is an exercise of ridiculous absurdity.I’ll see you in Florence.Look for me riding on a horse,shouting ,”THE HATCHET MAN IS COMING!!!THE HATCHET MAN IS COMING.PUT ON THE WHOLE ARMOUR OF GOD!!!

  3. Bryant Says:

    Phillip’s letter is full of revisionist history at best. While there were moderates in SC, the situation here was never as bleak as it was in other places. My dad served as convention president in the 80’s and he was a solid conservative even though some of today’s leaders didn’t seem to think so. He was also the one who brought a resolution to the convention on behalf of Jimmy Epting and NGU when those in Columbia and others in leadership were strongly considering closing the doors there. The resolution passed unanimously and the rest is history. He also warned those in Columbia of what was going to happen at Furman only to be ignored. By the way if you are wondering when the last time an average SCBC pastor leading an average SCBC church served as president, look back to 1982.

  4. Bryant Says:



  5. Bryant,
    Todays leaders in the SCBC consider themselves to be conservative.Unfortunately their ethics are sadly lacking.The so called moderates are more considerate and ethical than the self described defenders of the truth.With them it is either their way or the high-way.The independent,fundamental spirit has not gone away.They are just a little more polished and political now.It is all about CONTROL and POWER.
    J.Frank Norris could have learned vauable lessons from the “Conservative Caucus.”
    Sadly many Pastors go goo-goo and ga-ga when certain men in the Caucus show them attention,not knowing that they are being used to further their political cause.If the caucus is conservative,I will gladly be willing to be called a “moderate.”
    What was your Dad’s name?

  6. Bryant Says:

    My father’s name was Horace Sims. He was also appalled by the circus surrounding some of the “big-wigs” here in SC. He taught me to treat all men as equals even when there are matters of difference between you, he also taught me to stand strong in your convictions. To be a man of peace and truth. Not just one or the other.

  7. I remember Horace well.Who could forget him?He was one of a kind.Always gracious and treated everybody with dignity and respect.

  8. Greg Bailey Says:

    OK. I am a South Carolinian with a M.Div hoping to return from my exile (first to ARBCA and now from Central VA). Am I to assume that Conservative Baptist in SC actually means the same in SC as it does in VA? We say the Bible is inerrant and is the guide for life and pratice, but we only quote it in passing, out of context during a “conservative social gospel” message.

    I heard Ligon Duncan say this…I am sure he was quoting someone almost as sharp as he is “the most pernicious lie is that when Jesus said ‘My kingdom is not of this world’ he really didn’t mea it.”

    Grace Alone,
    Greg Bailey

  9. Greg Bailey Says:

    That is “He really didn’t mean it.”

  10. We have Evangelicals,fundamentalists,Red Letter Christians,liberal,moderate,and conservative brands in SC.The conservatives believe the Bible is inerrant,but many seem to struggle with the “practice”part.

  11. Greg Bailey Says:

    That doesn’t bug me…we all fail, hopefully we lead with our weakness and do not claim to be someone we aren’t. We trust God to “to faithfulcomplete the good work in us.” What does bug me is that the inerrantists (of which I am one) don’t seem to “pistis” what they say they believe. Or shall we say, they give intellectual assent, but they don’t seem to trust it. Our weapons are not the same as the earths weapons. I am a patriot (served in the Army and Desert Storm, would do so again), and politically very “conservative”, but I do wonder if in God’s providence the descent of the USA would be a good thing for the Kingdon of God.
    Case in point. You post articles on scripture interpretation, Quinn posts about the seeking revival services at his church (seemed pretty good to me) and you have very few posts. Mention the presidential race and Don Wilton making a very poor judgement, and posters come out of the woodk work. Heck, I would expect the Willow Creek Reveal-ations to get some interaction amongst Christian thinking men!
    Grace Alone,

  12. Greg,
    You are right.Posting about theology and Bible doctrine will kill a blog sight.I still do it but the most “hits”are about controversial issues.
    Don Wilton made a mistake but there is no reason to run him in the ground.I know that some pastors are actually glad to see him squirm.I did not post anything about Don’s blunder.I have friends who are members at First Baptist and they support Don.
    When I was ordained in 1971 one pastor on the counsel gave me some good advice.He said,”Bill in the ministry..avoid women,wealth and wine.”He could have added,..Be careful how and what you say publically about politicians and politics.

  13. Greg Bailey Says:

    Hey Bill:

    This is a neat little website from a church in Asheville (The Body). They put snippets of sermons and scripture together. I love it. If you go to this link and go to Begg (yes, Alastair Begg) Kingdom and liste or download, it is a really indicting 9 minutes about the American Evangelical Church and its getting side tracked (shall we say getting side tracked and shown to be hypocritical).

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