NASHVILLE (BP) -- Minnesota-Wisconsin Baptists approved the most dramatic increase in the portion of Cooperative Program receipts to be sent beyond the state next year, moving from a 78/22 split to retaining 68 percent for in-state use and sending 32 percent for distribution to Southern Baptist missions and ministries. Simultaneously increasing their budget by seven percent, the huge leap to giving 32 percent of anticipated CP gifts of $544,000 to SBC causes follows seven years of keeping a pledge to increase the amount by a half percent annually from ...
NASHVILLE (BP) -- A desire for racial reconciliation is on the minds of Southern Baptists across the U.S. as 10 state convention adopted resolutions decrying racism of any form. Other states have addressed the concern in previous years, though tensions in recent years likely motivated a return to the subject this fall. With the exception of New England Baptists, state conventions where messengers passed resolutions on racism were in the South and Southwest, including Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Baptist General Convention of Texas and the Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia.
BRANDON, Fla. (BP) -- With the theme "Eyes on Eternity," messengers and visitors at the Florida Baptist State Convention heard testimonies of the cooperative work taking place across the state. Many were grateful for the disaster assistance that quickly came following hurricanes Irma and Maria while others expressed their gratitude for Florida Baptist Convention partnerships that led to ministry and revitalization in communities around the Sunshine State. For the first time in the history of the Florida Baptist Convention annual meeting, the convention sermon was preached in Spanish with simultaneous English translation. Carlos Tellez, pastor of Iglesia Bautista Coral Park in Miami, preached a sermon encouraging all to place their eyes on eternity and focus on sharing the Gospel with as many people as possible.
CHILLICOTHE, Ohio (BP) -- With the sound of the "Ray Roberts Gavel" -- honoring a former State Convention of Baptists in Ohio executive director for whom the state missions offering is named -- SBCO President David Starry called the convention's 64th annual meeting to order Nov. 8. The meeting was hosted by Chillicothe Baptist Church whose pastor Timothy Cline welcomed the 260-plus participants. Starry, pastor of Vandalia First Baptist Church, chose the theme "Mission Ohio: Moving Forward with Your Head Up" to guide the one-day meeting in historic Chillicothe, the first capital of Ohio.
HAMPTON, Va. (BP) -- The Baptist General Association of Virginia (BGAV) focused on how individuals and churches can respond to God's call during literal and figurative storms of life at its 194th annual meeting Nov. 13-15 in Hampton, Va. During evening worship Nov. 13 at the Hampton Roads Convention Center, BGAV Executive Director John Upton set the tone by interpreting the event's theme, "God's Call ... Now What?" Upton invited attendees to consider the courage and excitement of the first disciples in Matthew 4:18-22, who left everything they knew to follow Jesus.
BATON ROUGE, La. (BP) -- The time for a spiritual harvest has arrived, Louisiana Baptists were reminded during the 2017 LBC Annual Meeting Nov. 13-14 at Istrouma Baptist Church. Amid the largest statewide evangelism effort by Louisiana Baptists on record, 873 congregations have signed on through Nov. 15 to participate in a commitment to "pray for every home and share Christ with every person." After two years of developing a strategy, enlisting churches and piloting methods, a strong push will take place in 2018 for concentrated prayer and intentional soul-winning. The cooperative effort includes a diversity of mass evangelism strategies as well as one-on-one evangelism approaches: multi-church crusades, door-to-door outreach, one-on-one evangelism, single-church revivals and other activities which leverage compassion ministries to share about the love of Christ.
TUCSON, Ariz. (BP) -- During their 89th annual meeting, Arizona Southern Baptists were challenged to multiply disciples, leaders and churches for the sake of the lost in their cities. Looking beyond Arizona, messengers adopted a 2018 budget that will send more to Southern Baptist Convention causes. "Multiply" was the theme of the meeting held at First Southern Baptist Church of Tucson, Ariz., Nov. 17. It was attended by 243 messengers and 36 registered guests from 99 of Arizona Southern Baptists' 460 churches.
LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. (BP) -- Messengers to the 196th annual meeting of the Georgia Baptist Convention recognized J. Robert White on his 25th anniversary as GBC executive director, approved a $41.2 million budget and collected more than 34,000 backpacks for needy children. Messengers gathered at North Metro First Baptist Church in Lawrenceville for the Nov. 13-14 meeting, which was preceded by the Sunday evening Inspirational Rally where International Mission Board President David Platt, an Atlanta native, spoke.
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (BP) -- For several years, the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions (SBOM) has been leading the Alabama Baptist State Convention (ABSC) to move its budget toward a 50–50 split of funds with Southern Baptist Convention missions and ministry causes. What started out as a gradual goal was accomplished this year as Samford University in Birmingham withdrew from state convention funding, freeing up $3.5 million. With that in mind, messengers to the annual meeting Nov. 14-15 at Whitesburg Baptist Church, Huntsville, Ala., unanimously approved a $37 million budget for 2018 -- $3 million less than the current year's $40 million budget to be more in line with current giving receipts.
RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. (BP) -- At the 164th annual meeting of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention, with "Encourage to Engage" as its theme, ministers and laypeople worshiped, prayed, elected officers, conducted business, approved resolutions, enjoyed fellowship and heard inspirational messages. ABSC leaders reported 549 messengers from churches across the state registered for the Nov. 7-8 ABSC sessions at First Baptist Church in Russellville.