Wrap: what happened during Baptist state convention annual meetings

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Ky. Baptists cut ties with dually aligned churches

PIKEVILLE, Ky. (BP) – The Kentucky Baptist Convention will cut ties with a small group of churches that remain dually aligned with a missions network that took steps earlier this year to allow the hiring of LGBT staff members.

Messengers to the KBC annual meeting voted today (Nov. 13) to accept a recommendation from the Credentials Committee, the Administrative Committee and the Mission Board to terminate affiliation with congregations that choose to remain a part of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF).

The CBF was founded in 1991 as a fellowship of churches that objected to the ideology and methods of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Conservative Resurgence.

Dually aligned churches will be given… continue reading here.

Minn.-Wis. Baptists continue CP climb

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (BP) – Minnesota-Wisconsin Baptists are continuing their years-long mission to designate more Cooperative Program dollars for national and international Southern Baptist ministries.

Messengers to the 2018 annual meeting agreed to give 35 percent of 2019 CP receipts to national and international ministries, a steady rise from the 17 percent that was forwarded in 2015.

The contribution from the Minnesota-Wisconsin Baptist Convention (MWBC) is anticipated to be $192,500, based on total CP receipts of $550,000, the MWBC said.

The Oct. 26-27 gathering at Southtown Baptist Church… continue reading here.

Felix Cabrera new Puerto Rico executive director

ARECIBO, Puerto Rico (BP) – Felix Cabrera is the new executive director of the Convention of Southern Baptist Churches in Puerto Rico, he confirmed to Baptist Press Thursday (Dec. 6).

The executive board of the Convención de Iglesias Bautistas del Sur de Puerto Rico (CIBSPR) asked Cabrera to fill the executive post after the group met this week.

“I think that the Lord is doing something special here, and I’m glad, honored, to be part of what the Lord wants to do here in the island,” Cabrera told BP. “I think we are in a special moment. We have a special momentum.”

Bob Sena, Hispanic relations consultant for the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee… continue reading here.

BGAV ‘Living the Story’ at 195th annual meeting

GLEN ALLEN, Va. (BP) – The Baptist General Association of Virginia continues the purpose of its 1823 founding to strengthen local churches and help them work cooperatively in ministry, Executive Director John Upton said at the BGAV’s 195th annual meeting.

Cooperatively, churches can accomplish more than an individual congregation, Upton said at the Nov. 12-14 event hosted by Mount Vernon Baptist Church in Glen Allen, Va. “Living the Story” was the theme, based on 1 Corinthians 15:58.

New initiatives are underway to help churches meet the changing needs of congregants and communities, Upton said. Among them is a Fresh Expression outreach offering $500 micro-grants to 50 congregations willing to try a nontraditional approach to take church to people where they are.

Other initiatives include BGAV scholarships and Ministerial Education Funds grants… continue reading here.

Ohio Baptists add a day for family Bible conference

SANDUSKY, Ohio (BP) – A first-ever Bible Conference on the Family sponsored by the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio preceded the convention’s annual meeting in Sandusky.

The Nov. 6 sessions led by Geoff & Sherry Surratt of Ministry Together aimed to minister to all families, especially those of pastors and church staff.

On Nov. 7, SCBO president David Starry, lead pastor of First Light Church in the Dayton area, gaveled the convention’s 65th annual meeting to order at the Kalahari Convention Center. Carl and Heather Cartee provided music for both meetings.

In his presidential address, Starry emphasized the 2018 theme… continue reading here.

BGCT’s Family Gathering celebrates unity, diversity

ARLINGTON, Texas (BP) – A celebration of unity and diversity took place as 2,054 messengers and visitors gathered at the 2018 Texas Baptists Family Gathering and Annual Meeting. Several ethnic fellowships and conventions were represented in the three-day event at the Arlington Convention Center.

Messengers also elected a new slate of officers, and newly elected leaders set a course for the next year of cooperative missions and ministry work.

The Family Gathering began with an observance of the Lord’s Supper. Baptist General Convention of Texas President Danny Reeves, pastor of First Baptist Church in Corsicana, noted the diversity represented by the more than 5,300 congregations which cooperate with the convention joining together as one family. “There is no more common element of family life than to gather around a table for a shared meal,” Reeves said.

Ethnic fellowship and convention leaders shared their thoughts on the significance of the ordinance… continue reading here.

NW Baptists debate CP, increase local ministry funds

GRAND MOUND, Wash. (BP) Messengers to the Northwest Baptist Convention annual meeting Nov. 13-14 reelected three officers, passed a nearly $5.2 million budget for 2019 ministries, welcomed 13 congregations into affiliation and marked a new mission partnership with Texas Baptists.

Participants highlighted this year’s meeting theme – “This is Our Day” – in sermons, testimonies and presentations throughout the gathering, which drew 336 messengers and more than 50 registered guests to the Great Wolf Lodge in Grand Mound, Wash. Participants represented 152 congregations in cooperation with the NWBC.

“Our day is a small speck of time in the large swath of human history, but we can make this day count for all of eternity,” NWBC executive director Randy Adams said, reflecting on the meeting’s theme. “That makes the day in which we live, and the opportunity it affords, stupendous beyond the imagination of our feeble minds. When the opportunity of a lifetime comes, you have to seize it during the lifetime of the opportunity.”

Citing the stories of ancient believers in Hebrews 11, Adams recounted the stories… continue reading here.

Ariz. So. Baptists climb toward 50/50 CP split

PHOENIX (BP) – During their 90th annual meeting, Arizona Southern Baptists affirmed an updated vision statement leading up to the convention’s centennial in 2028 and adopted a 2019 budget that will send more to Southern Baptist Convention causes. They also were challenged to love their ministry partners as they advance the gospel together.

“Fruitful” was the theme of the meeting held Nov. 16 at Foothills Baptist Church in Phoenix. It was attended by 291 messengers and 44 registered guests from 125 of Arizona Southern Baptists’ approximately 470 churches.

Messengers adopted a $4,921,356 operating budget for 2019, a $58,340 or 1.2 percent increase over 2018. The operating budget includes $3,476,000 in anticipated Cooperative Program giving from churches, up $136,000 or 4.1 percent from 2018.

The budget allocates $1,173,000 or 34 percent of CP receipts from churches… continue reading here.

Hawaii Baptists get missions training, tweak budget

HONOLULU (BP) – Messengers to the Hawaii Pacific Baptist Convention received evangelism training from International Mission Board personnel and welcomed into their fellowship congregations in Okinawa, Japan, and the Philippines.

Gathering around the theme “We Are Hawaii Pacific Missions,” 191 messengers and 87 guests met Nov. 8-9 at Olivet Baptist Church in Honolulu. In addition to churches in Hawaii, the convention’s 155 cooperating congregations include churches in Guam, Saipan, American and Western Samoa, South Korea, Japan, Thailand and now the Philippines.

The 2019 budget of $2,375,000 marks a 9 percent decrease from the current year. The decrease is attributable largely to a shift in the way some expenses are classified, according to the HPBC. Anticipated receipts include $1,300,000 in Cooperative Program receipts from churches; $150,000 from the North American Mission Board and $65,000 from LifeWay Christian Resources.

The convention will continue to forward 20 percent of CP receipts… continue reading here.

Neighbors, nations not alone, SBC Va. Proclaims

HAMPTON, Va. (BP) – Cooperation aimed at reaching neighbors and nations with the gospel was the focus of the 2018 Southern Baptist Convention of Virginia Annual Homecoming Nov. 11-13 in Hampton.

Effective since an October vote of the SBCV executive board, the state convention retains its founding name of Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia, but in business matters refers to itself as the Southern Baptist Convention of Virginia and SBC of Virginia.

“They are Not Alone” was the theme, capping a 2017 theme of “We are Not Alone.”

“Over the past few years, the SBC of Virginia has stated clearly and emphatically that churches are not alone,” said Brian Autry, SBC of Virginia executive director. “However, we join in gospel partnership not just for our mutual benefit but to reach our neighbors and the nations with the good news of Jesus Christ. We are not alone so they are not alone.”

Worship, sermons, breakout sessions and business meetings were part… continue reading here.

La. Baptists hear call to reach the next generation

BATON ROUGE, La. (BP) – David Hankins, executive director of the Louisiana Baptist Convention, has announced his plans to retire, sharing his intentions during the 2018 LBC annual meeting, with the theme of “Imprint – Marking the Next Generation.”

“I have every confidence that God is going to take care of this convention and bring about good things and better things for His glory,” Hankins, 68, told messengers during the Nov. 12-13 meeting at Temple Baptist Church in Ruston. “So I know you will join me in praying during these transition days.

“I’ve been reminded as I come to this time of approaching retirement of this truth,” he continued. “It is always the duty of every generation for God’s people to teach the next generation. There’s always a next generation that we have a duty to. We stand on the shoulders of those who came before us and somebody’s going to need to stand on our shoulders. So we’re to mark the next generation.”

Hankins’ retirement will be effective June 30, 2019. Continue reading here.

S.C. Baptists build Gospel bridges spanning barriers

CHARLESTON, S.C. (BP) – Holding their 198th annual meeting under the theme of “Building Bridges,” South Carolina Baptists committed to advancing the gospel and healing racial divisions in their home state and beyond.

An emotional high point of the Nov. 13-14 gathering was an evening worship service at Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, also known as Mother Emanuel, a church revered as one of the oldest independent black congregations in the South. See BP’s related story.

Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church, a historically African-American congregation in North Charleston, hosted the remaining sessions of the South Carolina Baptist Convention’s (SCBC) annual meeting.

Mount Moriah pastor Augustus Robinson Jr., welcomed messengers. Continue reading here.

Ala. reaches longtime 50/50 CP goal

TRUSSVILLE, Ala. (BP) –  From reaching budget goals to achieving new highs in offering giving to making plans for the long-range future, Alabama Baptists have a lot about which to get excited, said Rick Lance, executive director of the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions.

This year the state reached a 50/50 split of Cooperative Program funds between the state’s budget and the Southern Baptist Convention causes for the first time. It’s a goal Alabama Baptists have been working toward for several years – and reached five years early.

State Baptists also met their $1 million goal for the Myers-Mallory State Missions Offering on the Friday before convention – a goal that had been raised from $750,000 the year before.

All of that is “worthy of celebration,” Lance said at the beginning… continue reading here.

Leaders highlight faithfulness at Fla. Convention

MIAMI (BP) – Under the theme “Faithful,” 827 messengers representing 374 churches gathered for the 157th annual meeting of the Florida Baptist State Convention.

They voted on business, received ministry updates and heard from fellow pastors about some of the ways God is moving to reach Florida with the gospel through local churches. With the addition of guests at the Nov. 12-13 meeting, the crowd swelled to 1,201 in total attendance at Wayside Baptist Church in Miami.

Stephen Rummage, pastor of Bell Shoals Baptist Church in Brandon and outgoing convention president, closed the first session of the meeting by sharing strategies for increasing faithfulness in a believer’s life.

One such indication of faithfulness, Rummage said, is sacrificial giving. Continue reading here.

History visits annual meeting of Ill. Baptists

MARYVILLE, Ill. (BP) – The pioneering spirit of more than 200 churches was on display during the Illinois Baptist State Association’s (IBSA) annual meeting Nov. 7-8.

This year’s meeting was held at First Baptist Church in Maryville. IBSA Executive Director Nate Adams helped lead a Wednesday evening service dedicated to the steps churches must take in order to reach Illinois’ mission field with the gospel.

The vast spiritual need in Illinois, where at least 8 million people do not know Christ, was communicated most poignantly by the words of the state’s most famous pioneer. Delivered by renowned interpreter Fritz Klein, the wisdom of Abraham Lincoln echoed with new resonance in 2018, the year of Illinois’ bicentennial celebration.

“We are now surrounded by critical circumstances, well fitted to test our national faith. Continue reading here.

Mich. Baptists authorize building sale, affirm women

JACKSON, Mich. (BP) – The Baptist State Convention of Michigan authorized its Executive Board to sell the convention’s office building in Fenton, Mich., and adopted an increased 2019 budget.

Messengers to the BSCM annual meeting also launched a church planting and revitalization partnership with the Baptist General Convention of Texas and adopted resolutions affirming “the dignity and worth of women” and denouncing domestic abuse.

The Michigan convention convened Nov. 9 at Grace Church in Jackson, Mich., with 132 messengers representing 50 of the convention’s 305 cooperating churches. The meeting’s theme was “The Power of ONE – Multiplied.”

A building sale was authorized because the BSCM’s current office… continue reading here.

Maryland/Delaware Baptist meeting: ‘United in Prayer’

BEL AIR, Md. (BP) – The 183rd annual meeting of the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware was held Nov. 1-12 at the Oak Grove Baptist Church, founded in 1931 in Bel Air, Md.

Messengers elected a new slate of officers and adopted the 2019 budget. BCM/D Executive Director Kevin Smith announced a new international partnership with the Baptist Convention of Kenya. The convention’s theme was “Maryland/Delaware Baptists United in Prayer: Celebrating God’s Mission in Maryland/Delaware.”

This year’s meeting, attended by 320 messengers and 88 guests included a substantial time of prayer for church plants. Special guests were Johnny Hunt, senior pastor of First Baptist Church Woodstock, Ga., and the North American Mission Board’s new senior vice president of evangelism and leadership; Christina Edmondson, dean of intercultural student development at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich.; and Tony Merida, pastor for preaching and vision, Imago Dei Church, Raleigh, N.C.

Continue reading here.

Southern Baptists of Texas celebrate 20th anniversary

HOUSTON, Texas (BP) – The 20th anniversary of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention drew more than 1,300 Southern Baptists, including 1,027 messengers, to the SBTC’s annual meeting.

The theme for the milestone anniversary, “Entrusted: A Gospel Legacy for the Coming Generations,” came from 2 Timothy 2:2 and opened each session as pastors and denominational leaders preached from 2 Timothy 2-4.

SBC President J.D. Greear closed out the Nov. 12-13 meeting with a sermon Tuesday night. Second Baptist Church of Houston hosted the gathering at its North Campus in the Houston suburb of Kingwood.

The newest of the Southern Baptist state conventions, the SBTC was constituted… continue reading here.

Iowa Baptists cast vision for ‘Reaching Iowa’

DES MOINES, Iowa (BP) – The 2018 Baptist Convention of Iowa (BCI) Annual Meeting was held Nov. 10 at the Hilton Garden Inn in West Des Moines. A total of 121 messengers and 33 guests represented 52 churches at the meeting.

Keynote speaker Wes Searcy, president of Next Worldwide, urged messengers to pursue authenticity and accountability in their leadership roles and to become “World Christians.” What does it mean to be a “world Christian”? Searcy challenged messengers to focus on their ministries and what God is doing in Iowa, but also to keep their eyes toward all “ethne” at the same time. Searcy asked messengers, “Are you ready to surrender to God whatever he asks of you?”

BCI Executive Director Tim Lubinus announced that BCI churches increased weekly attendance 50 percent over the last five years and that BCI churches baptized more than 1,000 people over the last year. Lubinus stated that Cooperative Program giving has been strong, with a 400 percent increase over the last five years, from $99,000 in 2013 to $401,000 in the year ending Sept. 30, 2018.

Lubinus also reported on staff changes this year to increase BCI impact… continue reading here.

‘WinTN’ messages undergird Tennessee annual meeting

JACKSON, Tenn. (BP) – Tennessee Baptists gathered at West Jackson Baptist Church for the annual Summit with a focus on winning their state for Jesus Christ.

The meeting, held Nov. 11-14, drew 929 registered messengers from 409 churches, along with 160 guests. Among the business conducted, messengers elected a new set of officers by acclamation for the coming year.

“We had a strong turnout,” said Randy C. Davis president and executive director of the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board. “But it wasn’t just the numbers. There was a strong sense of unity among the messengers. I believe Tennessee Baptists are recognizing that if we are to reach Tennessee for Christ we must do it together.”

In addition to electing Greeneville pastor David Green… continue reading here.

Dilbeck installed as Okla. Baptist state exec.

EDMOND, Okla. (BP) – The 2018 annual meeting of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma (BGCO) featured many highlights, including the installation of Hance Dilbeck as the ninth executive director-treasurer in the state convention’s history.

More than 650 registered messengers, and many more guests, gathered at First Baptist Church, Edmond, on Nov. 12-13 for the 112th annual meeting of the BGCO, which had the theme of “To Him be the Glory in the Church.”

Military veterans were honored, and the Singing Churchmen of Oklahoma led times of worship in the opening of the annual meeting’s first session.

The Kiowa Black Leggings Society Honor Guard… continue reading here.  

Mo. Baptist resolution: Denounce Dred Scott decision

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (BP) – Missouri Baptists elected a more ethnically diverse slate of convention officers and approved a resolution encouraging racial reconciliation during their 184th annual meeting at Crossway Baptist Church in Springfield.

Although this year’s meeting was shortened to only two days, Oct. 22-23, attendance rose slightly compared to the previous two years, totaling 1,042 messengers and 184 visitors from 451 churches.

Jon Nelson, elected as MBC first vice president, is believed to be the convention’s first black officer. Nelson is an MBC church planter and pastor of Soma Community Church near the campus of historically black Lincoln University in Jefferson City.

Other new officers include: president, Jeremy Muniz, pastor of First Baptist… continue reading here.

N.M. Baptists partner with Union, Ramsey

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (BP) – New Mexico Baptists approved a 2019 budget, elected new convention officers, emphasized the importance of Cooperative Program giving and introduced new convention partnerships during the Baptist Convention of New Mexico’s 2018 annual meeting.

They also announced partnerships with Union University and personal finance expert Dave Ramsey.

Two hundred sixty-nine messengers and 89 guests from 93 of the BCNM’s 338 cooperating churches attended the Oct. 22-24 meeting hosted by Mesilla Park Community Church in Las Cruces, N.M. The 2018 theme was “God’s Unshakeable Kingdom” derived from Hebrews 12:25-29, in which the author states God’s promise that, through Jesus, people can enter into “a kingdom that cannot be shaken.”

Continue reading here.

Pa./S. Jersey increases CP, eyes future

YORK, Pa. (BP) – Messengers to the 2018 annual meeting of the Baptist Resource Network (BRN) of Pennsylvania/South Jersey heard challenges on “Kingdom Compassion” from Luke 4:18-19, increased their Cooperative Program giving to SBC causes and elected a new slate of officers, among other business.

This year’s meeting, attended by 148 messengers and 89 guests representing 105 of 330 active BRN churches, was held Nov. 1-2 at BRN’s property in York, Pa.

In his report to the network, BRN executive director Barry Whitworth recapped the BRN’s 2018 achievements, noting first, “I’d rather know that Jesus is pleased with me because I challenged men to do what is difficult, than have men pleased with me because I encouraged them to do what is easy.”

He reported how the BRN staff has made 4,553 connections… continue reading here.

‘Jesus is worth it,’ Greear tells W.Va. Baptists

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (BP) – Obeying Jesus’ command to spread the gospel is worth the changes His mission often entails in our lives, Southern Baptist Convention President J.D. Greear told West Virginia Baptists at the group’s 2018 annual meeting.

“If you’re really serious about following Jesus, obedience to him is going to take you 180 degrees opposite of the direction you want to go,” Greear said, “and in that moment the only thing that will compel you forward is the belief that Jesus is worth it!”

Greear, a West Virginia native and current pastor of The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, N.C., focused on four convictions of people who transform the world during the meeting, held Nov. 1-2 at Fairlawn Baptist Church in Parkersburg, W.Va. At the preceding pastors’ conference, he fielded questions from an audience of 125 pastors at a question and answer dinner.

Continue reading here.

N.Y. Baptists launch 50th year, increase CP

NISKAYUNA, N.Y. (BP) – Messengers to the Baptist Convention of New York increased giving to Southern Baptist Convention missions and ministries for the fourth year in a row and heard a report on the sale of the convention’s office building in East Syracuse, N.Y.

The BCNY also kicked off its 50th year of ministry and approved creation of a team to cast vision for the future. A total of 82 messengers from 56 churches attended the Sept. 23-25 sessions at Trinity Baptist Church in Niskayuna, just northwest of Albany.

The BCNY building was sold in July for $215,000, the convention’s Executive Board reported. The purchase by a Syracuse real estate company included an agreement allowing the BCNY to lease the building’s lower floor through September 2019, with a month-to-month lease available thereafter.

“In recognition of the changes driven by the sale of the building” among other… continue reading here.

New England conv. sees church planting as the future

HAVERHILL, Mass. (BP) – “Church planting is the natural consequence of intimacy with God,” Tanner Turley, a church planter based in greater Boston, noted during a testimony at the Baptist Convention of New England’s 36th annual meeting.

The Nov. 2-3 sessions were held at First Baptist Church in Haverhill, Mass., which was founded before the Revolutionary War. Two hundred twenty-one messengers and 103 guests were in attendance for fellowship, worship, extended prayer, business and celebrating what God is doing by “Embracing the Future Through Church Planting.”

Sean Sears, pastor of Grace Church in Avon, Mass., preached the opening sermon, “God Says Plant!” Sears shared his experience as an “accidental” church planter who felt burdened for the lost in his hometown and saw the need for a gospel-centered church several years ago. Grace Church now averages 1,600 in worship, making it one of New England’s largest Baptist churches, baptizing 154 people last year.

“The closer you get to Jesus, the more you love those who are farthest from him,” Sears said. Continue reading here.

N.C. Baptists challenged to love, reach neighbors

GREENSBORO, N.C. (BP) – North Carolina Baptists approved a 2019 budget, elected a new slate of officers and adopted a resolution honoring the late Billy Graham during the 2018 Baptist State Convention of North Carolina’s (BSCNC) annual meeting, which emphasized loving one’s neighbors and reaching them for Christ.

A total of 1,425 messengers attended the meeting, which was held Monday and Tuesday (Nov. 5-6) at the Joseph S. Koury Convention Center in Greensboro, N.C. The event’s theme was “Who Is My Neighbor?” based on the question asked of Jesus in Luke 10:29 in the parable of the Good Samaritan.

Messengers approved a $31 million budget that designates 41.5 percent ($12.87 million) to Southern Baptist Convention missions and ministries through the Cooperative Program. Although the overall budget total remained flat from 2018, messengers increased the percentage allocated to the SBC by 0.5 percent ($110,000).

The budget proposal presented to messengers on behalf of the BSCNC’s Board… continue reading here.

Wyoming Baptists meet their new state missionary

MILLS, Wyo. (BP) – Two standing ovations marked a leadership transition during the Wyoming Southern Baptist Mission Network’s 35th annual meeting.

Lynn Nikkel retired after 13 years as state missionary plus five previous years as the state convention’s religious education director. He first moved to Wyoming from Oklahoma in 1994 to pastor Memorial Baptist Church in Wheatland, serving there six years.

Quin Williams, pastor since 1996 of Boyd Avenue Baptist Church in Casper, was approved Sept. 14 by the convention’s Executive Board as the new state missionary, effective Nov. 1. Williams came to Wyoming after pastoring in Texas for 17 years.

Both men received standing ovations as they were presented to the 125… continue reading here.

Ark. Baptists unanimous in opposing more casinos

JONESBORO, Ark. (BP) – Just two weeks before Nov. 6 balloting, Arkansas Baptists expressed their opposition to Issue 4, a proposed constitutional amendment to allow casino gambling to expand to four additional Arkansas counties.

Arkansas Baptists unanimously approved a resolution encouraging all voters to vote against Issue 4, which would expand casino gambling beyond Hot Springs and West Memphis.

Messengers at the 165th annual meeting of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention (ABSC) further committed to restore and rehabilitate individuals involved in “problem gambling” and also provide a “safety net” for gamblers’ families and communities if Issue 4 is approved.

Larry Page, executive director of the Arkansas Faith… continue reading here.

Colo. Baptists hear new vision, increase CP

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (BP) – Increasing the convention’s number of credentialed churches by 38 percent and receiving a new vision for accelerating gospel impact in Colorado were among highlights of the Colorado Baptist General Convention’s Oct. 15-16 annual meeting.

Colorado Baptists also increased for the second year in a row the percentage of Cooperative Program receipts they will forward to Southern Baptist Convention causes.

Some 203 messengers from 92 churches gathered at First Baptist Church of Black Forest in Colorado Springs, Colo., around the theme “A New Thing.”

CBGC executive director Nathan Lorick, who assumed his leadership role with Colorado… continue reading here.

Utah-Idaho conv. prays, aims to strengthen churches

KEARNS, Utah (BP) – Prayer permeated the Oct. 19 annual meeting of the Utah-Idaho Southern Baptist Convention, as it did the two-day pastors’ conference preceding it.

The one-day annual meeting, attended by 115 messengers, took place at The Point Church in Kearns, Utah, where Corey Hodges has been pastor since 1998. Sixty-six messengers were from Utah and 49 from Idaho – from St. George, Utah, nearly 1,100 miles north to Bonner’s Ferry, Idaho.

“The challenge is not focusing on numbers but focusing on starting healthy churches and strengthening all our existing churches,” Rob Lee, UISBC executive director, said in his report to the convention. “We are working on different church revitalization projects to help churches become stronger by assisting with evangelism funds to help them with evangelistic projects and other strategies.

“It is projected at the end of 2018 we will have 35 church… continue reading here.

CP gifts show ‘uptick’ among Calif. churches

CLOVIS, Calif. (BP) – Messengers to the 2018 California Southern Baptist Convention (CSBC) annual meeting elected a new convention president and approved a 2019 budget during their 78th session that highlighted “Empowering Church Vision.”

Held at Clovis Hills Community Church Oct. 23-24, the annual meeting sessions focused on the convention’s new structure, put in place by Bill Agee who was elected executive director in May 2017. The four “initiatives teams” made presentations during each session: church planting, church revitalization, evangelism & missions, and small church.

Agee presented a “state of the convention” message, informing messengers and guests that, for the first time in some years, Cooperative Program gifts from California churches are showing an “uptick,” and “we are hoping for record receipts from the California Mission Offering.”

He emphasized the ministry of the four CSBC initiatives teams and their interest and availability in partnering with churches. Continue reading here.

Indiana Baptists celebrate their 60th anniversary

MARTINSVILLE, Ind. (BP) – The 60th anniversary of the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana was celebrated during the Oct. 8-9 annual meeting at Highland Lakes Baptist Camp with 160 messengers and 53 guests representing 80 churches across the state.

The SCBI became the 29th convention in the Southern Baptist Convention on Oct. 3, 1958. E. Harmon Moore, elected as the SCBI’s first executive secretary-treasurer, served 22 years in the position.

The SCBI today encompasses 420 churches and church plants from the convention’s initial 111 churches.

The convention began with the stated purposed to… continue reading here.

Nevada Baptists highlight 40-yr. legacy of God’s work

RENO, Nevada (BP) – Nevada Baptists celebrated their 40th anniversary with a theme of “Legacy” that included memories of the past and vision for the future.

Organized in October 1978 after nearly 30 years of Southern Baptist churches being started and informally cobbling together for fellowship, what is known today as the Nevada Baptist Convention began with 65 churches and missions and a $135,000 annual budget that included 10 percent – $13,500 – to missions through the Cooperative Program.

Today, the Nevada convention encompasses 215 churches and plants and a 2019 budget of $2,248,220, which includes 50 percent of the anticipated $1,176,020 Cooperative Program giving from Nevada churches – or $588,000 – allocated to CP national and international missions and ministry.

Records also indicate at least 52,136 individuals have been baptized during the last 40 years. Continue reading here.

Evangelize 91 counties, Kan.-Neb. Baptists urged

PRATT, Kan. (BP) – Start new ministries in 91 area counties that have no gospel witness, attendees of the 2018 Kansas Nebraska Convention of Southern Baptists (KNCSB) were urged.

The meeting was held Oct. 8-9 at First Southern Baptist Church in Pratt, Kan., with the theme “Leading through Change,” based on Joshua 1-3.

KNCSB Executive Director Bob Mills told of counties that don’t have a Southern Baptist witness – 31 counties in Kansas and 60 in Nebraska. Many of these counties have no evangelical witness at all, Mills noted.

Start “places of light” such as Bible studies in… continue reading here.

Dakota celebrates Cooperative Program giving

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (BP) – With “Together We Can Because He Can” as its annual meeting theme, and a Cooperative Program dinner to start things off, messengers to the Dakota Baptist Convention (DBC) voted again to increase Cooperative Program giving next year by 2 percent.

This was in addition to the $25,000 it sent in extra funds to Southern Baptist Convention missions and ministries earlier this year, for the second year in a row, because of increased giving by DBC churches.

This giving increase was accomplished because churches being started in North and South Dakota are giving 10 percent to missions through the Cooperative Program, and other churches are being revitalized and giving more, DBC Executive Director Garvon Golden told Baptist Press.

“But I like to think God is honoring our convention because… continue reading here.

Montana engages in its first Crossover outreach

HELENA, Mont. (BP) – Twenty-nine people from across Montana stayed an extra day after the 2018 annual meeting of the Montana Southern Baptist Convention to participate in the convention’s first-ever Crossover evangelistic initiative.

The 29 messengers from the annual meeting assisted four of Helena’s Southern Baptist churches Oct. 6 by joining in door-to-door gospel conversations, canvassing neighborhoods and distributing flyers about the churches.

“It was a great start for us,” Barrett Duke, MTSBC executive director, told Baptist Press. “We need to be doing all we can to reach more people for Christ and be more aggressive in reaching the lost and making disciples. This [Crossover] is a fairly easy way to ramp up that emphasis.”

The annual meeting – known in Montana as “Refresh” – took place Oct. 4-5… continue reading here.

Alaskans embrace ‘Vision Plan for a New Tomorrow’

WASILLA, Alaska (BP) – An Alaska Baptist Convention “Vision Plan for a New Tomorrow” was approved by messengers at the ABC’s 73rd annual meeting, Sept. 25-26 at First Baptist Church in Wasilla.

Sweeping changes include a decrease in Cooperative Program giving from 37 percent to 20 percent to Southern Baptist Convention causes; a restructuring from four associations to six regions; and a potential name change.

“This came out of discussions at Executive Board meetings,” said Randy Covington, executive director/treasurer of the Alaska Baptist Convention since 2016, about the CP decrease. “If we’re going to reach our state for Christ, we’re going to have to keep more money at home.

Continue reading here.

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New GBMB Missions Catalyst excited for ‘what God’s about to do’
Beth Ann Williams to lead Georgia Baptist Women in Mission Board restructuring
Every state at #SBC19, first time in 20 years
Ministers’ wives pray for one another at luncheon
Bivocational pastors encouraged to persevere
Floyd affirms Birmingham progress, eyes SBC 2020