HONOLULU (BP) — Messengers to the 71st annual meeting of the Hawaii Pacific Baptist Convention approved a resolution upholding traditional marriage just days before same-sex marriage was legalized, making Hawaii the 15th state to embrace the practice.
Hawaii Baptists’ resolution, adopted Nov. 8, called on church members to uphold biblical marriage in their private and public lives and to commit to pray for people to know God’s will through Jesus.
Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed a bill into law in Nov. 13 allowing gay weddings to start Dec. 2.
With the theme “Cloud of Witnesses” based on Hebrews 12:1-2, 251 messengers from 73 churches and 227 guests gathered for the annual meeting at the Hawaii Baptist Academy in Honolulu Nov. 7-8.
The meeting was streamed online, with nearly 1,000 users viewing various portions of the proceedings.
Messengers honored their executive director, Veryl Henderson, who will retire Dec. 31. In a resolution affirming Henderson’s leadership, messengers extended their deepest appreciation for his service to the convention and for his invaluable contribution to the Kingdom work of the convention and the local church spanning more than 40 years.
Two congregations were approved for affiliation: Hawaii Sinai Korean Baptist Church on Oahu and Ocean View Baptist Church on the Big Island.
The Hawaii-Pacific Baptist Convention will continue to give 31.5 percent of an anticipated $1,213,000 in Cooperative Program gifts from its churches to national and international missions of the Southern Baptist Convention. The 31.5 percent allocation does not include any shared expenses.
The convention’s overall 2014 budget of $3,168,898 from the North American Mission Board and other sources reflects an increase of about $82,000 from the 2013 budget of $3,086,559.
Elected as the convention’s new offers were: president, Christopher Martin, pastor of Lahaina Baptist Church in Maui; first vice president, Denver Copeland, pastor of Waikoloa Baptist Church; and second vice president, Alberto Camacho, pastor of Filipino International Baptist Church. Connie Landry, a member of Ocean View Baptist Church on Hawaii, was re-elected recording secretary.
After the annual meeting, Martin was chosen as the next executive director of the Hawaii Pacific Baptist Convention. He resigned as president, handing over presidential duties to Copeland.
The HPBC recognized 10 churches for their CP giving: Olivet Baptist Church, Oahu; Mililani Baptist Church, Oahu; Nuuanu Baptist Church, Oahu; Hawaii Kai Church, Oahu; First Baptist Church, Pearl City, Oahu; Cornerstone Fellowship of Mililani Mauka; University Avenue Baptist Church, Oahu; Waialae Baptist Church, Oahu; First Baptist Church, Wahiawa, Oahu; and Valley Isle Fellowship, Maui.
Ten churches were recognized for increasing their 2013 CP giving: Olivet Baptist Church, Oahu; Hawaii Kai Church, Oahu; Hilo Baptist Church, Hawaii; Palisades Baptist Church, Oahu; First Southern Baptist Church, Pearl Harbor, Oahu; Puna Baptist Church, Hawaii; Cornerstone Fellowship in Mililani Mauka; First Baptist Church, Pearl Ciy; Waiakea Uka Bible Church, Hawaii; and Eleele Baptist Church, Kauai.
The convention honored six churches for completing the four quadrants of the Acts 1:8 Challenge: Hawaii Kai Church, Waikiki Baptist Church, Pawa`a Community Church, Kaunakakai Baptist Church, Pukalani Baptist Church and Mililani Baptist Church.
Recognized for completing three quadrants of the Acts 1:8 Challenge were: Filipino International Baptist Church, Yokohama International Baptist Church, Lihue Baptist Church and Waikoloa Baptist Church.
Churches that completed one or two quadrants were New Covenant Baptist Church, First Baptist Church of Wahiawa, Waipahu Community Church and Village Park Baptist Church.
Commended for the most baptisms were, in churches with a membership of 150 or more: Koza Baptist Church (129), Cornerstone Fellowship at Mililani Mauka (33), Valley Isle Fellowship (28); membership of 101-150: Maui Philippine Baptist Church (25), Waikoloa Baptist Church (15), Waikiki Baptist Church (14); membership of 51-100: Waianae Baptist Church (56), Ocean View Baptist Church (27), Kona Baptist church (18); membership of 50 and under: Chinese First Baptist Church (13), All Nations Fellowship (12), All Peoples Mission Church (10).
The HPBC presented certificates of excellence in Vacation Bible School to Lihue Baptist Church for five weeks of VBS and 62 professions of faith, Sonshine Ministry with Darla Richardson for eight weeks of VBS, Fellowship Baptist Church for total enrollment of 110 and 16 salvation decisions, Kaunakakai Baptist Church for total enrollment of 94, Aloha Community Church for total enrollment of 65 and six salvation decisions, and Songtan Central Baptist Church for total enrollment of 110 and 30 Sunday School prospects.
A resolution expressed gratitude for the volunteer leadership of those ending their terms of service to the executive board and convention committees. A resolution honoring the Southern Baptist Convention entities also was approved.
Frank Page, president of the SBC’s Executive Committee, delivered the annual sermon to close the meeting.
Next year’s annual meeting will be Nov. 6-7 at Kihei Baptist Church on Maui.
Based on reporting by Faith McFatridge, associate editor of the Hawaii Pacific Baptist, newsjournal of the Hawaii Pacific Baptist Convention.