Key leaders of the takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) are preparing to meet with European Fundamentalist leaders in June at Oradea, Romania. Paige Patterson, O.S. Hawkins and Richard Land are rumored to be preparing to speak at what is being billed as a "Missions Conference" at Emanuel University in Oradea. Patterson, President of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, was one of the architects of the fundamentalist takeover of the SBC. Hawkins is President of GuideStone Financial Resources the agency that manages 8.5 Billion dollars worth of pensions, annuities and trusts for Southern Baptist ministers and institutions. Land heads the SBC's Washington, D.C. based political action arm.
Organizing the conference for European Fundamentalists is Paul Negrut, a minister at Second Baptist Church of Oradea. Second Baptist Oradea, a European megachurch with several thousand members, is the largest Baptist church in Romania and the second largest Baptist church in Europe. Romania has the largest percentage of Baptists per capita of any country in Europe.
Negrut is serving his final year as the President of the Baptist Union (BU) of Romania. He has been a critic of the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) and a strong supporter of strengthening ties with the SBC. Last year, he unsuccessfully proposed that the Romanian BU should reconsider its links with the BWA after the SBC withdrew from BWA.
There is little doubt that the SBC is sending some of it's heavy-weights into Romania to attempt to weaken the BWA and organize a world-wide Baptist body under SBC control. Last summer Negrut organized a similar meeting between SBC leaders and European Fundamentalists in Warsaw, Poland but that meeting proved unproductive.