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Hawaii Baptists say goodbye to retiring executive director

KAUAI, Hawaii (BP)–Messengers to the 60th annual session of the Hawaii Pacific Baptist Convention elected a new president, said goodbye to their retiring executive director and approved a five-year partnership with the Japan Baptist Mission of the International Mission Board.

Billy Kim, president of the Baptist World Alliance, was the keynote speaker for the annual meeting held at the Radisson Kauai Beach Resort Nov. 7-8. Mori Hiratani, retiring pastor of the First Baptist Church, Pearl City, brought the closing message, challenging messengers to remember that the responsibility for carrying out the Great Commission is with the local church.

Executive Director O. W. Efurd, who will retire March 3, 2003, brought his last report to the messengers. Efurd was named executive director of the convention in 1989. His ministry in Hawaii started in 1963 when he was called as pastor of Kona Baptist church in Kailua-Kona.

During his ministry as executive director, the convention has grown from 14,000 members in 82 congregations. In 2002 the convention had 20,000 members in 117 affiliated churches. The convention also gained representation on the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, LifeWay Christian Resources, International Mission Board and North American Mission Board. The convention was extended to Guam in the early 1990s.

Efurd graduated from Oklahoma State University and has graduate degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary.

A native of Fort Smith, Ark., Efurd is married to the former Grace Agena, a native of Kekaha, Kauai, and they have two grown children.

In other convention business, Dan Van Alstine, senior associate pastor of Mililani Baptist Church in Mililani, was elected president of the convention. Ken Brooks, pastor of Waikoloa Baptist Church in Waikoloa was elected first vice president and Ken Sakai, a layman from Valley Isle Fellowship in Wailuku, was elected second vice president. Faith McFatridge of University Avenue Baptist Church in Honolulu, was re-elected recording secretary. All officers were elected by acclamation.

Also, messengers adopted a $2.4 million budget with a 1.9 percent increase in Cooperative Program giving. 31.5 percent of Cooperative Program gifts will be forwarded to the SBC, the same percentage as last year.

A total of 196 messengers and 82 guests were registered, including messengers from Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam and Okinawa, Japan. Messengers from five new churches affiliating with the convention for the first time were seated including the Koza Baptist Church in Okinawa, Japan.

Resolutions were adopted expressing appreciation for the churches of the Garden Island Baptist Association for hosting the annual meeting; for officers, executive board and committee members completing their terms; to the Southern Baptist entities who assist the convention; and to the California Southern Baptist Convention for their partnership.

First Southern Baptist Church of Pearl Harbor will host the 2003 annual meeting of the convention, Nov. 13-14.

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