News Articles

Colo. Baptists retire one of their debts

DENVER (BP)–Colorado Baptists celebrated the retirement of a $542,000 loan during their annual meeting Oct. 28-29 at University Hills Baptist Church, Denver.
The convention, encompassing 334 churches and missions, now has only one loan, for $1.27 million, in the process of being paid.
In officer elections, the new president is James Vaughn, director of missions for the Grand Valley Baptist Association, Grand Junction; first vice president, Rick Lewis, pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church, Sterling; and second vice president, Willard Johnson, associate pastor of the Baptist Temple, Denver.
Vaughn and Johnson were the lone nominees for their offices; Lewis was one of two nominees. Johnson is said to be the first African American to hold office in the Colorado Baptist Convention.
The convention, attended by 234 messengers, adopted a 1998 budget of $2,884,768, an increase of $46,000 over the current budget. The total includes an anticipated $1.5 million in Cooperative Program giving by Colorado churches, 29 percent of which will be forwarded to Southern Baptist Convention North American and international missions and ministries, the same percentage as the current year.
Featured speakers included Bob Reccord, president of the SBC’s North American Mission Board.
Next year’s annual meeting will be Oct. 27-28 at the Montrose (Colo.) Pavillon convention hall, hosted by Rosemont Baptist Church, Montrose.


11/10/97 European convention receives United Arab Emirates church

By Judith Lynn Bloomer
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany (BP)–The European Baptist Convention voted to extend its boundaries by accepting the Emirates Baptist Church, International, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, into full membership during the convention’s 34th annual meeting.
Gary Hawkins, interim pastor of the Emirates Baptist Church, said, “Our church is not in Europe, but Europe is in the UAE.”
The church, in its letter of application, said it was seeking a convention to which to give its missions offerings. Currently 21 percent of the church’s undesignated offerings is allocated for missions, with 15 percent marked for the EBC.
Encompassing 68 English-language churches in 22 countries in Europe, the European Baptist Convention is associated with the Southern Baptist Convention and supports the Cooperative Program and the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for international missions.
The convention’s Oct. 27-30 meeting at Faith Baptist Church, Kaiserslautern, Germany, with “Let Him Shine” as its theme, was attended by more 100 messengers and guests from 41 EBC churches.
The convention elected Jimmy Martin, pastor of Faith Baptist Church, Kaiserslautern, Germany, as president and Paul Hendrix, pastor of Grace International Baptist Church, Heidelberg, Germany, vice president.
In other business, the convention voted to eliminate the funding of children’s education for pastor families. Children of pastors currently serving in the EBC will be grandfathered under the vote. The designated account for this is nearly depleted. The convention’s church support committee will study the guidelines and make recommendations for the future.
The convention also approved the 1998 budget of $407,727, up 0.9 percent from the 1997 budget. According to the convention’s stewardship committee, giving to the EBC’s Cooperative Program for 1997 is running about the same as for 1996. Expenses for the year, meanwhile, are 21 percent under budget, which is allowing the convention to meet its expenses.
The property procurement committee has been studying options for purchasing a building for the EBC’s office. According to committee member Klaus Ziegler, the committee has been talking with the German Baptist Union about a possible 99-year lease on part of the new seminary property in Elstal, Germany, outside Berlin. The EBC could share conference facilities, guest quarters, the cafeteria and other services with the seminary. The committee also will look at an old military facility near Giessen, Germany.
The convention’s outgoing president, Race Lariscy, led in a dedication blessing of the convention’s new general secretary, James Heflin, and his wife, Wilma.
Emil Turner, executive director of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention, spoke during the Thursday morning session. Before beginning his message he brought greetings on behalf of the convention and its staff. “Resources (in the EBC) are limited,” Turner said, “but your faith and commitment are abundant. Sometimes in Arkansas our resources are abundant but our faith and commitment are limited.”
“How long has it been since Jesus touched you?” Turner asked the convention. Speaking from Mark 1:40-41, Turner described how Jesus touched the leper and healed him. From this story, Christians can learn several things about Jesus touching their lives, Turner said: There must be proximity, availability, humility, purity and intensity. The leper desired nothing more than Jesus’ touch, Turner said, asking, “Is there something you want more than Jesus’ touch? If so, he won’t touch you. Once he touches your life, you won’t care where he sends you next, what he asks you to do, because you will go in his power.”
In the closing sermon of the convention, Paul Hendrix, pastor of Grace International Baptist Church, Heidelberg, Germany, spoke on “God’s Plan for Letting Him Shine.” Before becoming a pastor, Hendrix spent 20 years in the U.S. Army. During his tour of duty in Vietnam, he was responsible for developing some of the troops’ battle plans.
Every mission has to have three parts, Hendrix said. There must be an objective (what is going to happen), a strategy (a plan for what is to happen), and tactics (specific maneuvers that must happen). The convention’s mission to “Let Him Shine” is no different, Hendrix said.
John 17 reflects God’s plan for accomplishing this task, Hendrix said. All three elements are listed in verses 20-26. The objective is that the world may believe in God. The task is not to save the world from itself, Hendrix said, but for Christians to live their lives so that God’s love shines through them and people either accept or reject Jesus. Unity is the strategy to meet the objective, Hendrix continued. Jesus in these verses is calling for a shared life in the family of faith so unmistakably filled with joy that others can see Jesus. The tactic described in these verses, Hendrix said, is love. Love is the flaming glory that makes Jesus visible; love is the tactic that will overcome the world, he said.