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D.C. Baptists adopt minimum contribution

SILVER SPRING, Md. (BP)–Delegates at the District of Columbia Baptist Convention’s annual meeting adopted a $1.27 million budget for 2004 and a minimum church contribution of $500 for convention membership.

The DCBC budget reflected a $250,000 decrease from the current year’s budget from defunding by the Southern Baptist Convention’s North American Mission Board over unresolved theological differences with DCBC leadership. The overall amount of NAMB defunding, which began with the 2002 budget, will amount to $475,000 yearly.

Prior to the delegates’ approval of the $500 minimum annual contribution, DCBC membership requirements had stated an expectation of financial support but had not specified a specific amount.

The convention is aligned with three national bodies: American Baptist Churches, Progressive National Baptist Convention and Southern Baptist Convention.

The 150 delegates, who met at Luther Rice Memorial Baptist Church in Silver Spring, Md., endorsed Vision 2010 as the ongoing framework for DCBC work. The DCBC executive board framed the initiative during a special meeting in January of this year in accord with convention instructions from the 2002 annual meeting.

Fred Herring, last year’s DCBC vice president, was elected as convention president. He is a DCBC consultant in men’s ministry and a member of Fort Foote Baptist Church in Fort Washington, Md. Ann James, who has headed up the convention’s intercessory prayer ministry, was elected vice president. She is a member of First Baptist Church in Hyattsville, Md.

LaTricia “Tish” Jones, described as the “glue” of the convention, was re-elected recording secretary. An array of convention leaders praised Jones’ work as executive assistant to Jeffrey Haggray, DCBC executive director/minister, and for her direct work in coordinating the convention’s annual meetings. She is a member of Georgetown Baptist Church in Washington.

This year’s keynote speakers were Roy Medley, general secretary of the American Baptist Churches; Daniel Vestal, coordinator of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship; and Fermin Whitaker, executive director of the California Southern Baptist Convention.

Next year’s annual meeting will be Oct. 25-26 at Vienna (Va.) Baptist Church.
Based on reporting by Bob Maddox & Art Toalston.

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