VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (BP)–The theme of “Risking to Rescue” framed the Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia annual meeting Nov. 10-11 at London Bridge Baptist Church in Virginia Beach.
The 1,000-plus messengers and guests in attendance were challenged to become involved in a new ministry partnership with the North American Mission Board to reach the Washington, D.C., area with the Gospel.
With a population of nearly 6 million people and influence that reaches around the world, the message of Jesus Christ is more critical than ever, SBCV leaders noted. Messengers were called to pray for the outreach in the nation’s capital, to risk in sharing the Gospel, to serve as church planters, to sponsor new churches and to get involved in church planting activities.
Geoff Hammond of the SBCV staff presented the convention’s ministry report, giving thanks to God for His work among the SBCV’s 408 churches and church plants. Hammond’s call rang clear: “What are we willing to risk to rescue for the Kingdom?” Through multimedia presentations, various accounts were shared illustrating the Spirit’s work across Virginia.
Each session included worship and preaching. Paige Patterson, newly elected president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, evangelists Junior Hill and Bill Stafford, and Hershael York, professor of preaching at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary were featured. SBCV Executive Director Doyle Chauncey and convention President Tim Piland also challenged messengers toward “Risking to Rescue.”
Messengers unanimously approved a $7 million Cooperative Program budget for 2004. Chauncey reported that SBCV churches had given 19 percent more to the Cooperative Program in the first three quarters of 2003 than in the same time period last year. The SBCV remains committed to the historic 50/50 plan of the Cooperative Program — 50 percent of CP receipts for Southern Baptist Convention missions and ministries and 50 percent for SBCV outreach across the state. A letter from Morris H. Chapman, president of the SBC Executive Committee, was read to messengers expressing appreciation for SBCV’s stewardship in SBC missions.
In other business, messengers voted unanimously to accept executive board recommendations to approve 31 new churches for affiliation with the SBCV; various SBCV constitution and bylaws revisions and new executive board members.
Messengers re-elected Piland, pastor of of Nansemond River Baptist Church in Suffolk to a second term as convention president. Also elected by acclamation were Tim Hight, pastor of Main Street Baptist Church in Christiansburg, as first vice president and Ronnie Brown, pastor of Swift Creek Baptist Church in Midlothian, as second vice president and Dan Cook, associate pastor of Spotswood Baptist Church in Fredericksburg, as secretary.
Messengers approved a resolution calling on the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse the decision of the Ninth Circuit Court against the phrase “one nation under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance, while another resolution called for prayer for spiritual awakening in Washington, D.C.
Next year’s annual meeting will be Nov. 8-9 at Spotswood Baptist Church in Fredericksburg.