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2015 State Annual Meetings

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States spotlight sanctity of life, religious liberty

NASHVILLE (BP) –- The sanctity of human life and defense of religious liberty remained the most often addressed concerns among many state Baptist conventions during their annual meetings as messengers penned resolutions endorsed by fellow Southern Baptists. Resolutions calling for an end to the funding of Planned Parenthood gained support in eight state Baptist conventions this year, with others declaring the sanctity of human life. ...

WRAP-UP: 23 states increase CP for SBC missions & ministry

NASHVILLE (BP) -- Twenty-three state conventions voted to increase the portion of Cooperative Program receipts being forwarded to Southern Baptist Convention missions and ministries in the coming year, continuing a trend inspired by passage of the Great Commission Task Force recommendations five years ago. This year, Florida Baptists made the largest shift, moving from 41 to 51 percent allocated to SBC causes.

Iowa Baptists note church plants, CP giving

DES MOINES, Iowa (BP) -- New church plants and an increase of more than 11 percent in Cooperative Program giving highlighted the 20th annual meeting of the Baptist Convention of Iowa in Des Moines. About 11 new church plants have ether launched or are holding preview services, BCI Executive Director Tim Lubinus said, noting firm plans for additional church plants in the Des Moines area in 2016.

Northwest convention welcomes 16 churches

PORTLAND, Ore. (BP) -- Sharing the Gospel message "from neighborhoods to nations" took center stage as Northwest Baptist Convention messengers convened Nov. 10-11 for their annual meeting in Portland, highlighting the motive for adopting a $5,267,000 budget for the convention's 2016 mission efforts.

‘Engage Ohio’ initiatives garner convention’s focus

PATASKALA, Ohio (BP) -- "Engage Ohio: All for Him" was the theme of the Nov. 3-4 annual meeting of the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio at the Columbus-area Jersey Baptist Church in Pataskala. SBCO President Mark Stinson, pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Cambridge, called the 62nd annual meeting to order, with host pastor John Hayes, a former SBCO president, welcoming messengers and guests, who numbered 257 and 28, respectively, by the end of the meeting.

Texas convention commends vision of property sale

FRISCO, Texas (BP) -- For the second consecutive year, Texas Baptists messengers have a diverse officer panel, with René Maciel, president of the Baptist University of the Americás, elected as president of the Baptist General Convention of Texas. Also elected during the convention's 130th annual meeting were Bedilu Yirga, pastor of Ethiopian Evangelical Baptist Church of Dallas, as first vice president after previously serving as second vice president, and Danny Reeves, pastor of First ...

SBCV promotes Great Commission, biblical living

HAMPTON, Va. (BP) -- The Great Commission was emphasized throughout the 2015 annual homecoming of the Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia (SBCV), where messengers also proclaimed biblical marriage, the sanctity of life, sexual purity and the dangers of pornography and sexual sin. Great Commission stories from the mission field included sharing the Gospel in Guam, serving people in earthquake-ravaged Nepal, offering hope to fleeing refugees in Greece and Germany, sharing the Gospel with Muslims in Barcelona, Spain, earning the right to be heard in Montreal, baptizing the lost in Lithuania, boldly witnessing to lost motorcyclists in Daytona, and pushing through life's challenges by planting churches in the Washington metro area.

Ark. Baptists elect first black officer

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (BP) -- Arkansas Baptists have elected as second vice president Steven Bell, pastor of Otter Creek Community Church in Little Rock, who is believed to be the first African American officer in the group's history. The vote came at the Arkansas Baptist State Convention's (ABSC) 162nd annual meeting at Hot Springs Baptist Church in Hot Springs. Bell, a Pine Bluff native, planted the Otter Creek church in 2012 and previously served as a youth pastor for eight years in Little Rock.

Ga. Baptists increase budget, boost CP giving

MARIETTA, Ga. (BP) -- A brand new Georgia Baptist Convention reinvented for a new era in ministry was unveiled to messengers at the 194th annual meeting of the state convention. Messengers, meeting at Roswell Street Baptist Church on Nov. 9-10, also approved a 2016 budget of $40,600,000, a modest $200,000 increase over the current year's budget and the first increase in six years.

Okla. Baptists focus on individual evangelism

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (BP) -- An emphasis of sharing the Gospel was made throughout the reports, presentations and addresses at the 109th annual meeting of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma (BGCO) at Southern Hills Baptist Church in Oklahoma City. With 621 registered messengers from state Baptist churches, and numerous guests, attendees were charged by the annual meeting's theme "Connect>1" that focused on spreading the Gospel through individual evangelism.