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BCNY votes CP increase, calls for prayer

RANDOLPH, N.J. (BP)–Messengers to the Baptist Convention of New York’s Sept. 26-27 annual meeting in Randolph, N.J., voted to increase the percentage of Cooperative Program mission funds sent to national and international causes and were challenged to start 1,000 new churches in the state convention.

BCNY Executive Director Terry Robertson challenged the assembly, meeting at Bible Church International in Randolph, to pray for revival and new churches.

“Change is coming,” Robertson said, referring to initiatives that will result from the adoption of the national convention’s Great Commission Resurgence Task Force report in Orlando this past June. “It will stretch us more than the changes we have already seen.”

Among other things, the GCRTF report called for individuals and congregations to give sacrificially to missions and challenged state conventions to pass a greater percentage of missions funds on to national and international causes. The report also called for the North American Mission Board to dramatically revamp the way it works with state conventions and focus intensely on planting new churches, especially in America’s urban areas.

Given the enormity of the task in evangelizing New York state and portions of New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Ontario, Robertson said the only way to get the job done “is on our knees.” An estimated 28 million people live within the boundaries of the New York convention — perhaps 27 million of them lost. Robertson called on churches to set aside a specific time to pray every week for God to send revival and for 1,000 churches to be planted within the BCNY’s territory.

Messengers approved a 2011 budget of $3.19 million that matches the 2010 budget. They voted to increase the percentage of Cooperative Program mission funds sent to national and international from 27.75 percent to 28 percent.

The convention’s 41st annual meeting drew 100 messengers from 54 of the New York convention’s 417 churches.

Elected as officers during the meeting: president, Jim Hundley, pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Cortland, N.Y.; first vice president, Duane Arnold, pastor of Southport Baptist Church in Elmira, N.Y.; second vice president, Richard Goforth, associate pastor of New Hope Baptist Church in Watertown, N.Y.; recording secretary, Glenn Igleheart, member of Bellwood Baptist Church in North Syracuse, N.Y.; assistant recording secretary, Van McClain, member of Trinity Baptist Church in Niskayuna, N.Y.; Executive Board chairman, Mark Davis, pastor of West Monmouth Baptist Church in Freehold, N.J.; Executive Board vice chairman, Jerry Lepasana, pastor of Bible Church International in Randolph, N.J.

In other business, Robertson presented checks for $10,000 to Shawn Buice of Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary’s Northeast campus and Dino Pedrone of Davis College for start-up costs of new church planting training programs for French Haitians and Hispanics.

Under a theme of “We Still Belong,” Robertson referred to a song, “We Belong,” that was written by Ken Medema for the convention’s 10th anniversary. His wife Elizabeth sang We Belong as part of Robertson’s address to the convention.

Other speakers during the meeting included Johnny Hunt, pastor of First Baptist Church in Woodstock, Ga., and immediate past president of the Southern Baptist Convention; outgoing BCNY President Rick Wilburn, pastor of Tupper Lake Baptist Church in Tupper Lake, N.Y.; Ed Stetzer, vice president for research and ministry development at LifeWay Christian Resources; and David Sera Josef, pastor of Grace Christian Fellowship in Piscataway, N.J.

Music for the meeting was provided by praise teams from the Bible Church International and Woodstock First Baptist.

The 2011 annual meeting will be held at New Hope Baptist Church in Watertown, N.Y. The annual sermon will be preached by Robbie Lankford, pastor of New Hope Community Church in Queensbury, N.Y.
Compiled by Baptist Press assistant editor Mark Kelly, with reporting from Baptist Convention of New York staff.

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