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Calif. Southern Baptists affirm Prop. 8

EL CAJON, Calif. (BP)–Adoption of a $12.2 million budget, a resolution affirming the passage of Proposition 8 and election of a new president highlighted business at the 68th annual meeting of the California Southern Baptist Convention Nov. 11-12.

Meeting at Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon where David Jeremiah serves as pastor, messengers passed the Prop 8 resolution stating that California Southern Baptists “affirm and applaud California voters’ affirmation of traditional biblical marriage.”

“[T]he California Southern Baptist Convention expresses its appreciation and heartfelt gratitude to the ProtectMarriage.com coalition that spearheaded the effort to restore and protect biblical, traditional marriage in California and throughout our nation,” the resolution reads. It further states that the convention “strongly encourages its churches and their members to pray for, promote and uphold the biblical model of marriage.”

The resolution recounted biblical reasons for defining marriage as between “a man and a woman” and noted a previous resolution by the CSBC Executive Board encouraging churches and members to actively participate in the statewide effort to restore and protect traditional, biblical marriage.

Prop 8 passed 52-48 percent on Election Day, reversing a California Supreme Court ruling that legalized “gay marriage.” Opponents have filed suit with the same court, seeking to have Prop 8 invalidated.

In other matters, the messengers approved a $12.2 million budget with a Cooperative Program objective of $8.3 million. The Cooperative Program objective remains the same as from 2008. Glen Paden, chairman of the CSBC Executive Board which presented the financial plan, said this is the third consecutive year with no increase in the CP objective. The $12.2 million proposed budget is a $550,932, or 4.73 percent, increase over the 2008 budget of $11,647,222.

Paden also noted the percentage for worldwide missions to the Southern Baptist Convention was increased 1 percent in the 2009 budget, bringing the portion for SBC ministries to 30 percent. The 2009 budget restores the 30 percent funding rate that previously had been in place before a reduction to 27 percent in 2005 due to economic pressures.

Based on the 30 percent allocation, the SBC would receive $2,494,941, an increase of $83,164 for worldwide missions and evangelism support in the coming year.

If the CP objective is met CSBC would receive $4,906,718; California Baptist University would receive $831,647; and the California Baptist Foundation would receive $83,165.

Other percentage allocations for the proposed 2009 plan are 59 percent for CSBC Executive Board ministries, up 2 percent over 2008, and 10 percent for California Baptist University, down 3 percent from 2008 based on a resolution from its board of trustees in 2007 recommending the allocation reduction. California Baptist Foundation’s allocation remains at 1 percent.

The challenge portion of the 2009 financial plan calls for gifts exceeding the CP objective to be distributed equally between the SBC and CSBC.

Three of four officers were elected by acclamation and include Walter Price, pastor of Fellowship in the Pass in Beaumont, president; Larry Macasero, pastor of Bonita Road Baptist Church in Chula Vista, first vice president; and John Montgomery, a member of Immanuel Baptist Church in Highland, music director.

Peter Chung, pastor of Mandarin Baptist Church of Los Angeles in Alahambra, was elected second vice president. He defeated Rick Patterson, pastor of First Baptist Church in Hemet, by a vote of 248 to 69.

With little discussion, messengers overwhelmingly defeated a constitutional amendment which would have changed the name of CSBC to the Network of California Baptist Churches.

Messengers approved a constitutional amendment changing the period for Cooperative Program giving by churches to qualify messengers. The new wording qualifies churches which have given to CP “during the 12 months previous to the month of the annual meeting.” The motion was introduced by the CSBC Executive Board in 2007 to give convention committees options to schedule the annual meeting in either October or November. Previously the constitution contained language that would only allow the annual meeting to be held in November.

There were 484 messengers.

The 2009 CSBC annual meeting is slated for Nov. 10-11 at California Baptist University in Riverside.
Terry Barone is editor of the California Southern Baptist, newsjournal of the California Southern Baptist Convention.

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