Sunday, July 05, 2009

Nothing More Disorderly than Applause

P. H. Mell was the president of the Southern Baptist Convention for fifteen years. I was at the SBC annual convention this year and it was a wonderful time, but taking into account how the assembly gave applause for everything and gave standing ovations to most things I think, based upon the following quote from his biography, P. H. Mell would roll over in his grave if he witnessed the business meeting of the SBC today:
"In the chair sat the venerable Dr. Mell, whose piercing eye, gray hair, tall, straight person, indicated penetration, thought and firmness. The prince of parliamentarians, he rules the body with measured ease. 'I appeal from the decision of the chair,' is becoming beautifully less, and Dr. Mell, in the Southern Baptist Convention, is almost instinctively recognized as President without the vote of acclamation. Upon motion of Rev. G. A. Nunnally, of Georgia, Dr. P. H. Mell was elected President by acclamation. The result was heard with applause, whereupon the President suggested that nothing is more disorderly than applause in a religious assembly."

Mell, Jr., P. H. The Life of Patrick Hues Mell (Harrisonburg: Gano Books, 1991), 165.

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