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Calif. Baptists highlight ‘The Power of One’

RIVERSIDE (BP) — Messengers to the 2017 California Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting welcomed a new executive director, re-elected the convention president and approved a 2018 budget during their 77th session that highlighted “The Power of One,” based on John 17:22.

Held at Magnolia Church in Riverside Oct. 24-25, the Tuesday evening session featured Bill Agee, elected as CSBC executive director in May, who presented his vision for the convention as well as details about a restructure.

The CSBC Executive Board approved the restructure during their September meeting, which creates three “initiative teams” — small churches, evangelism and missions, and revitalization — from what previously were the healthy church and church starting groups. One of Agee’s goals for the convention is to place a renewed emphasis on evangelism and missions.

Election of officers

A.B. Vines, pastor of New Seasons Church in Spring Valley, was re-elected CSBC president for a second one-year term.

Victor Chayasirisobhon, pastor of First Southern Baptist Church in Anaheim, was re-elected vice president.

The CSBC committee on convention operations recommended Joseph Rangel, worship pastor at Clovis Hills Community Church in Clovis, as music director.

All were elected by acclamation.


Messengers approved without discussion a 2018 budget of $14.89 million, which includes a Cooperative Program objective of $6.7 million, down from $6.8 million for 2017. It is based on actual year-to-date 2017 CP receipts and projections for 2018.

If the $6.7 million is realized, national and international Southern Baptist Convention causes will receive $2,345,000, or 35 percent, a half-percentage increase over the 2017 allocation.

The California portion of CP receipts for mission causes is $3,953,000, or 59 percent, a half-percentage decrease from the 2017 allocation. California Baptist Foundation and California Baptist University will continue to receive 1 and 5 percent, respectively.

Other business

Messengers approved four new congregations for affiliation: First Baptist, Westwood; Pathway Bible, Milpitas; Rosena Church, San Bernardino; Sacramento Mongolian Christian Church. Gillchrest, a member of First Baptist Church of Pacific Beach in San Diego, is committee chair.

Messengers also approved a resolution expressing gratitude to the City of Riverside, Inland Empire Southern Baptist Association and the host church.

Next year’s meeting will be held Oct. 23-24 at Clovis Hills Community Church in Clovis.

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  • Terry Barone & Holly Smith