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Alaska hosts 1st missionary commissioning

PALMER, Alaska (BP)–For the first time ever in Alaska, the International Mission Board conducted a missionary commissioning service. The ceremony was held in conjunction with the state convention’s annual meeting Sept. 30-Oct. 1 at First Baptist Church in Palmer.

With flags of the nations on display and missionary testimonies being shared, 330 Alaska Baptists were part of a deployment of 14 Southern Baptist workers, including one Alaskan, who will help carry the Gospel to the ends of the earth.

The 63rd annual meeting of the Alaska Baptist Convention Sept. 30-Oct. 1 celebrated the theme “Everyone Can through Acts 1:8” with 165 messengers representing 53 congregations in addition to 20 guests.

Alaska Baptists passed a $2 million budget, which is a 2 percent increase over the previous year and includes an anticipated $789,217 in Cooperative Program giving from Alaska churches, up $41,777 from 2008. The budget maintains an allocation of 33 percent of Cooperative Program receipts to be sent to Southern Baptist national and international missions and ministries.

The 2009 budget reflects 38 percent of income from state convention Cooperative Program ministries, 57 percent from SBC Cooperative Program ministries, 3 percent from LifeWay Christian Resources and 2 percent from other sources. The percentages did not change from 2008.

Ed Gregory, pastor of First Baptist Church in Anchorage, was elected president; Bryan Myers, pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Fairbanks, first vice president; and John Jemar, pastor of Valley View Baptist Church in Eagle River, second vice president. Judy Zach, a member of University Baptist Church in Fairbanks, was reelected recording secretary.

Messengers passed one resolution at the annual meeting, expressing appreciation to First Baptist Palmer for hosting the gathering and to Clearview Baptist Church in Franklin, Tenn., Pole Creek Baptist Church in Chandler, N.C., and Reed Memorial Baptist Church in Asheville, N.C., for providing the kitchen staff and child care workers for the annual meeting.

The Alaska Baptist Convention has 99 affiliated congregations with 9,264 members. Next year’s annual meeting will be Sept. 29-30 at Lighthouse Community Church in Nikiski.
Adapted from a report by Debra Long of the Alaska Baptist Convention.

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