STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (BP)–Meeting in the shadow of Penn State University, participants at the Baptist Convention of Pennsylvania/South Jersey were led throughout the meeting by collegiate leaders and students.
The Nov. 6-7 meeting’s theme, “Declaring His Power to All Generations,” appropriately spoke to the multi-generational crowd of 300-plus messengers and guests gathered at State College, Pa. Convention President Terry Douglas said to his knowledge this may have been the first time in Southern Baptist history that a state convention meeting had been coordinated and led by college groups.
In his report to the convention, David Waltz, BCPSJ executive director, praised the work of the churches, saying that the Penn/Southern Jersey convention has grown to 362 churches, chapels and Bible fellowships. The convention recorded 2,732 baptisms during the year.
“Statistically, in Penn/Southern Jersey last year, it took 18 people to reach one for Christ, as opposed to 41 people to reach one in the SBC,” Waltz said. “While our number sounds good, we can’t afford to lose our focus on what we’re about.”
Messengers approved a $3,162,302 budget, up 1 percent from last year’s budget of $3,160,243. The convention will send 24.6 percent of receipts to the national Cooperative Program, up .1 percent from last year’s figure. Anticipated CP giving from the state convention’s churches is $87,289.
Messengers re-elected Douglas, pastor of Wrightsdale Baptist Church in Peach Bottom, Pa., as president; elected Steve Sheldon, pastor of Bux-Mont Baptist Church in Philadelphia, first vice president; and re-elected John Doerfler, a layman from Dallas (Pa.) Baptist Church, second vice president. All were elected by acclamation.
Messengers approved one resolution commending the Penn State Collegiate Ministry Team for its excellence in coordinating the state convention meeting and expressing appreciation to all Pennsylvania/South Jersey college ministry teams for their service.
Next year’s annual meeting will be Nov. 4-5 in Monroeville, Pa.