NASHVILLE (BP) -- Values-driven voting and defense of religious liberty were topics frequently addressed in annual meetings of state Baptist conventions this year as messengers voiced their concerns in resolutions. Nevada Baptists encouraged churches -- as led by their pastors -- to "engage in the political process by researching the candidates and ballot questions," helping their members vote "to reflect Biblical values in the upcoming election."
NASHVILLE (BP) -- Ohio Baptists approved the largest increase in the portion of Cooperative Program receipts sent beyond the state next year, moving from the current 59.75/40.25 ratio to a 50/50 split. "Supporting missions from Ohio to the ends of the earth is the heartbeat of Ohio Southern Baptists," said Ohio Executive Director Jack Kwok in praising the decision. The State Convention of Baptists in Ohio (SCBO) joins four other conventions that forward half or more to the Southern Baptist Convention, without a "shared ministry" calculation, including the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention (55/45), Florida (51/49), Iowa (50/50) and Nevada (50/50).
BURTON, Mich. (BP) -- Michigan Baptists will forward a larger percentage of Cooperative Program receipts to the Southern Baptist Convention this year, despite an anticipated decrease in CP receipts from the state's 262 churches. The $1,292,886 in CP funds the Baptist State Convention of Michigan (BSCM) anticipates receiving from its cooperating churches in 2017 is 8.6 percent less than this year's receipts of $1,415,291, the BSCM reported. Yet, the state will forward $351,256 of 2016 CP receipts, 32.5 percent of the total, to the SBC for national and international causes. In 2016, the state forwarded 31.5 percent of CP receipts to the SBC.
VAIL, Colo. (BP) -- Colorado Baptists focused on "The Revitalized Christian" at their 2016 annual meeting, a theme drawn from Isaiah 6:1-8 that continued a focus on church revitalization begun last year. "Every Christian needs to be revitalized," said Mike Routt, Colorado Baptist General Convention (CBGC) president. "If every Christian was revitalized, we would have church revitalization."
BOLIVAR, Pa. (BP) -- The Baptist Resource Network of Pennsylvania/South Jersey (BRN) at its annual meeting celebrated the upcoming retirement of interim Executive Director/Treasurer Stanley K. Smith. Smith will retire in March, 2017, after 32 years with the BRN, most recently as interim executive director following the March 2016 retirement of longtime executive director David Waltz. Previously, Smith served as associate executive director and director of the missions division.
SPOKANE, Wash. (BP) -- Randy Adams, executive director of the Northwest Baptist Convention (NWBC), described the group's 2016 annual meeting as "a time of joyful celebration, meaningful fellowship, and heartfelt worship." Multiple stories of church revitalization, church planting and missions at home and abroad were heard with testimonies and reports about the Lords' work through Northwest Baptist churches in the NWBC coverage area of Oregon, Washington and northern Idaho. Messengers also adopted a 2017 budget, elected officers and adopted resolutions voicing messengers' concerns.
KONA, Hawaii (BP) -- Messengers to the Hawaii Pacific Baptist Convention annual meeting welcomed a Russian-speaking church into their fellowship and held steady the convention's percentage of Cooperative Program receipts forwarded to Southern Baptist Convention causes. Gathering around the theme "charting the course together," drawn from Acts 20:24, 214 messengers and 60 guests convened the HPBC's 74th annual meeting Nov. 17-18 at the Courtyard King Kamehameha Kona Beach Hotel in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.
ROANOKE, Va. (BP) -- The Baptist General Association of Virginia heard a recounting of the association's history, approved a decreased budget and adopted a resolution denouncing "anti-Muslim rhetoric and bigotry" during its annual meeting Nov. 13-15 at Bonsack Baptist Church in Roanoke, Va. The BGAV's 193rd annual meeting featured 654 messengers and 293 guests representing 292 churches from across Virginia and beyond.
SURPRISE, Ariz. (BP) -- During their 88th annual meeting, Arizona Southern Baptists celebrated what God is doing in their state, heard how the Cooperative Program undergirds that work and adopted a 2017 budget sending more to Southern Baptist Convention causes. "For God So Loved ... Arizona" was the theme of the meeting held at Palm Vista Baptist Church in Surprise, Nov. 18. It was attended by 266 messengers and 25 registered guests from 119 of Arizona Southern Baptists' 468 churches.
ALEXANDRIA, La. (BP) -- During their annual meeting highlighting a statewide soul-winning emphasis for 2017-2018, Louisiana Baptists heard various ministry reports that included disaster relief efforts following record flooding in the state. And Louisiana messengers defeated a motion for a 2018 move toward a 50/50 Cooperative Program split with Southern Baptist Convention causes. Messengers also referred a motion regarding concerns with the SBC's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission to the Louisiana Baptist Convention's Executive Board. Approximately 600 messengers registered for the state convention's Nov. 14-15 meeting that was held at Calvary Baptist Church in Alexandria.