JACKSON, Miss. (BP) — Messengers to the Mississippi Baptist Convention’s 2015 annual meeting heard the first reading of a proposed constitutional amendment relating to the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message to be voted on at the convention’s 2016 annual meeting.
Messengers also elected a new president and approved a 2016 Cooperative Program budget of over $31.5 million.
A total of 882 messengers registered for MBC’s Oct. 27-28 annual meeting, a slight decline from the 896 messengers who registered for the 2014 annual meeting traditionally held at First Baptist Church in Jackson.
The proposed amendment to the MBC constitution, put forward by the convention’s Committee on Constitution and Bylaws, reads, “Article III, Doctrinal Guidelines. The doctrinal guidelines for the Mississippi Baptist Convention shall be The 2000 Baptist Faith and Message.”
According to Section VII of the MBC constitution, proposed amendments must the given at the annual meeting of the convention of the immediately preceding year, published in the MBC Annual and The Baptist Record, and then voted on by messengers at the annual meeting the following year. Thus, the proposed amendment will be voted on by messengers to the 2016 annual meeting.
Doug Broome, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Natchez, was elected without opposition to his first term as MBC president. He replaces Matt Buckles, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Vicksburg, who served two terms as president and was not eligible for reelection. Broome, who has served on a number of MBC committees, is chairman of the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board’s Executive Committee.
Reelected without opposition to second terms were first vice president Gary Wyatt, pastor of North Morton Baptist Church, and second vice president Larry Young, pastor of Spangle Banner Missionary Baptist Church in Pace. Young’s election as second vice president last year marked the first time in MBC history that an African American has held a convention-wide office.
Also reelected without opposition were recording secretary Michael Weeks, pastor of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Olive Branch, and assistant recording secretary Jerry Bingham, missions director for Benton-Tippah Baptist Association in Ripley. The two positions are not term-limited.
Messengers adopted a 2016 Cooperative Program budget of $31,522,005, an increase of $237,438 (.76 percent) over the 2015 budget. Support for Southern Baptist Convention causes such as the mission boards and theological education will total $11,741,947, an increase of $166,657 (1.44 percent), representing 37.25 percent of the total 2016 Cooperative Program budget, up from 37 percent last year. The budget does not include any shared expenses with the SBC.
The Cooperative Program is Southern Baptists’ unified plan of giving through which cooperating Southern Baptist churches give a percentage of their undesignated receipts in support of their respective state convention and the Southern Baptist Convention’s missions and ministries.
Two resolutions were approved by messengers.
A “Resolution on Bold Biblical Living,” proposed by Carl White, senior pastor of Highland Baptist Church in Meridian, stated, “[We] recognize that the restoration of Biblical values in the home, in our churches and in society will only come about by our total submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in our lives, in our homes and in our churches.”
A “Resolution of Appreciation” offered thanks to staff and members of First Baptist Church in Jackson for hosting the meeting, along with appreciation for the speakers, singers, instrumentalists, outgoing MBC President Matt Buckles and others “who have served this Convention faithfully.”
David Eldridge, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Clinton, preached the convention sermon. Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, was the keynote speaker for the annual meeting’s closing session. Waylon Bailey, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Covington, La., provided the Bible Treasures series of devotionals.
The MBC’s Time, Place, and Preacher Committee announced that Larry LeBlanc, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Summit, will preach the 2016 convention sermon, with Smokey Gibson, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Biloxi, as the alternate.
The 2016 MBC annual meeting will be Nov. 1-2 at First Baptist in Jackson.