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Baptists ‘Extend the Light’ in northern Mich. meeting

ALPENA, Mich. (BP)–Cool fall weather complemented warm fellowship inside Thunder Bay Baptist Church in the northern Michigan community of Alpena at the 41st annual meeting of the Baptist State Convention of Michigan.
“Extend the Light” was the theme for the Nov. 3-5 meeting. Chuck Kelley, president of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, led a Bible study each session using Nehemiah to illustrate the theme to the 200-plus messengers and guests.
Damon Patterson, pastor of Monroe Missionary Baptist Church, Monroe, delivered the annual sermon. Among others bringing messages were Michigan Executive Director Michael Collins; convention President Ray Shelton, pastor of Friendship Baptist Church, Lincoln Park; and John Yarbrough, vice president of evangelization, North American Mission Board.
Also sharing testimony were retiring International Mission Board missionaries Howard and Joyce Clark from Spain and a Last Frontier missionary who cannot be identified in relation to the work he and his wife have undertaken with an unreached people group. He related the danger that many face as they respond to the gospel.
Terry Sharp, Tennessee Baptist Convention partnership missions leader, brought a report on the long-running Michigan-Tennessee partnership, which has brought many volunteers from Tennessee and other states to serve in Michigan. In addition, Sharp related Michigan Southern Baptists are now sending groups to minister in Tennessee.
Elected as convention officers for the 1998-99 year are George Fountain, president, pastor of Raisinville Baptist Church, Monroe; Bob Beddingfield, first vice president, pastor of First Baptist Church, South Lyon; Tom Fishell, second vice president, pastor of Roscommon Baptist Church, Roscommon; and August Peters, recording secretary, retired pastor, member of Bethel Baptist Church, Adrian.
The budget, overwhelmingly approved, includes a 3 percent increase to the Cooperative Program of the Southern Baptist Convention, for a total of 28 percent, or $402,749, to be sent to mission causes around the world. The budget total is $3,127,680, with 46 percent, $1,438,388, in anticipated gifts from the state’s churches and the remainder in SBC support.
Resolutions passed by messengers included opposition to physician-assisted suicide; appreciation to the host church; and suggested preparation for ministry and a bold witness by the church to the community as the potential Y2K computer crisis nears.
Monroe Missionary Baptist Church, Monroe, will host the 1999 annual meeting, Nov. 2-4.

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  • Julie Scheving