News Articles

Baptists ‘On Our Knees’ at Utah-Idaho annual meeting

SALT LAKE CITY (BP)–The Utah-Idaho Southern Baptist Convention capped off a year of special emphasis on prayer, with “On Our Knees, In His Will” as the theme for the Oct. 24-25 annual meeting at Holladay Baptist Church in Salt Lake City.

The resolution adopted last year establishing 2000 as a year of prayer encouraged Utah-Idaho Southern Baptists to pray for the lost, for missions and for revival. Four Wednesdays were set aside for all churches to participate in meetings of corporate prayer. Continuing the emphasis on corporate prayer during the annual meeting, each session included time for worship and prayer in addition to convention business. A prayer room was set aside so messengers could pray for the annual meeting even as it was taking place and for other needs as they arose.

Jim Harding, who resigned as executive director in September to return to the pastorate, was invited to speak during the Tuesday afternoon session. He challenged the messengers to remember that God loves them as his children, and he wants to spend time with them as a father. “The first two words of the model prayer are ‘Our Father,'” Harding said, noting that a relationship to God begins with prayer. “We should become so intertwined with God,” he said, “that it is easy to discern his will because we know it already.”

Harding and his wife, Jan, were honored Tuesday evening with a “roast” and a reception. Harding now is pastor of First Baptist Church, West Valley City, Utah.

No formal resolutions were presented to messengers for approval. However, John McClung, director of missions for Utah and Gideon Baptist associations, moved that the Utah-Idaho Southern Baptist Convention go on record as supporting the Cooperative Program and national leaders in view of what is happening in other state conventions. The motion passed unanimously.

Messengers approved a $2,149,301 budget for 2001, an increase of just under $66,000 from 2000. In Cooperative Program giving, Utah-Idaho will continue to forward 21 percent of undesignated receipts to the Southern Baptist Convention’s national and international missions and ministries.

Elected as convention president and vice president, respectively, Eric Frey, pastor of First Southern Baptist Church, Salt Lake City, and Juan Acosta, pastor of Emmanuel Bilingual Baptist Church, Ogden, Utah, both on ballots with two other nominees. Allen Lusby, pastor of Mountain Shadows Baptist Church, Grangeville, Idaho, was elected second vice president on a ballot with another nominee. Mary McFarling, a member of Calvary Baptist Church, Idaho Falls, Idaho, was re-elected recording secretary.

The Time-Place-Preacher Committee scheduled upcoming conventions in October, since this first October meeting was well received. Calvary Baptist Church, Boise, Idaho will host the 2001 convention Oct. 23-24.

Two new Idaho churches were received as members of the convention: Iglesia Bautista Nuevo Pacto of Nampa and West Valley Baptist Church of Eagle.

Messengers elected a record number of new members to the convention’s executive board. Ordinarily five new members are elected to serve a three-year term at each annual meeting of the convention. However, several current members have moved or taken positions that prevented them from completing their term, which resulted in four additional new members being named this year.

The five new board members are Dan Robinson and Travis Best, pastor and minister of music, respectively, from the Treasure Valley Baptist Association; Naomi McKean, church member from the Golden Spike Baptist Association; Mark Nguyen, pastor from the Salt Lake Baptist Association; and Manuel Vela, church member from the Magic Valley Baptist Association.

Serving one-year terms will be pastors Rod Moerer, Silver Lakes Baptist Association, and Billy Webster, Treasure Valley association. Pastors Charles Petty, Golden Spike association, and Rob Rowbottom, Rainbow Canyon Baptist Association, were appointed to two-year terms.

Concern was expressed by more than one messenger about whether the executive board members represented a cross-section of the convention’s churches. Mike Gray, pastor of Southeast Baptist Church, Salt Lake City, moved that the state staff provide to the convention nominating committee data for the past 10 years as to who had served on the board or as officers of the convention, and how many messengers from each church were present. After much discussion, the motion passed.

Gray also moved that the executive board review the procedure for amending the constitution with special attention to the section on how to publicize proposed amendments. The motion carried. Keith Markham, president of the convention and pastor of Mountain View Baptist Church, Layton, said that a special committee had been appointed by the executive board in May to review the existing constitution. However, due to some health problems with one of the members, the committee has not yet met.

The nominating committee recommended two new members for the Utah-Idaho Southern Baptist Foundation board of trustees. Messengers unanimously approved Jim Harding and Tony Wolff, a Holladay Baptist member, to begin terms in January 2001.

Judy Barking, chairman of the foundation board of trustees and member of First Southern Baptist, Salt Lake City, reported that the foundation is now incorporated in both states and an application for nonprofit status with the IRS has been filed. The foundation can now receive tax-deductible contributions.

Two $500 scholarships will be awarded by the foundation in 2001, Barking announced. One will go to a college student and one will be awarded to a minister desiring to further his education. Applications will be available after Jan. 1.

    About the Author

  • Debbie Ward