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D.C. funding shortfall aired during convention

F0RT WASHINGTON, Md. (BP)–Financial difficulties, including the loss of nearly $500,000 in funding from the North American Mission Board, were aired during the 126th annual meeting of the District of Columbia Baptist Convention, Nov. 11-12 at Fort Foote Baptist Church in Fort Washington, Md.

The D.C. convention, aligned with the Southern Baptist Convention, American Baptist Churches and Progressive National Baptist Convention, may face a significant downsizing of its ministry staff due in part to loss of NAMB funding.

Year-to-date income was $265,190 behind expenditures for the same period, LaTricia Jones, DCBC recording secretary, told Baptist Press.

Messengers also heard a report that D.C. churches contributed only $25,000 toward a total goal of $125,000 for the 2002 National Capital Area Missions Offering.

In June the convention will lose nearly $500,000 in funding it had received annually from NAMB, whose officials have cited theological differences with various DCBC affiliations.

The convention’s nearly 200 registered messengers heard a report on Vision 2010, a plan to restructure the convention’s ministry programs and staff in order to make them more efficient. No formal action was taken on the program.

Jones said the DCBC executive board will meet Jan. 25 to discuss the plan once more, and then vote on it at its regularly scheduled March 10 meeting. The board also adopted a continuing resolution on the 2003 budget that holds spending at the 2002 level of $1.5 million and postponed action on a final 2003 budget of $1.2 million until the March meeting.

In other convention business, messengers elected Charles Updike, pastor of First Baptist Church of Gaithersburg, Md., as DCBC president. He had previously been vice president. Fred Herring of Fort Foote Baptist Church was elected vice president and Jones, a member of Washington’s Georgetown Baptist Church, was re-elected recording secretary.

Ginny Quey, an American Baptist pastor from San Mateo, Calif., delivered a message at the meeting and Geriel DeOliveira, pastor of Nations United, a DCBC congregation, and a staff member of the International Mission Board, delivered the convention sermon.

The convention will hold its 2003 meeting Oct. 27-28 at Luther Rice Memorial Baptist Church in Silver Spring, Md.

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