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Hawaii Baptists welcome Korean church

HONOLULU, Hawaii (BP)–Seoul International Church became the third international church to join the Hawaii Pacific Baptist Convention during its 66th annual meeting at the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel Nov. 13-14.

The theme of the meeting, hosted by the Big Island Baptist Association, was “Reach-Touch-Risk-Change,” based on the story of Jesus healing the leper in Matthew 8:2-3.

In addition to the Korean church, other churches approved for affiliation included Abundant Life Baptist Church in Iroquois Point; Faith Baptist Church in Kailua; Hawaii Christian Baptist Church in Waikele; In Christ Alone House Church Ministries in Papaikou; New Community Baptist Church in Honolulu; North Windward Baptist Church in Hau’ula; and The Gathering in Mililani. Most of the churches are on the island of Oahu.

Veryl Henderson, the convention’s executive director, recognized the top 10 churches for Cooperative Program giving: Olivet Baptist Church, First Baptist Church of Pearl City, Valley Isle Fellowship, University Avenue Baptist Church, First Baptist Church of Wahiawa, Mililani Baptist Church, Hawaii Kai Church Waialae Baptist Church and Cornerstone Fellowship at Mililani Mauka.

Certificates also were given to the top Cooperative Program givers per resident member: Enchanted Lake Baptist Mission, International Baptist Fellowship, Lahaina Baptist Church, Mililani Baptist Church, Kaunakakai Baptist Church, Valley Isle Fellowship, Nuuanu Baptist Church, First Baptist Church of Wahiawa, First Baptist Church of Pearl City and Kahului Baptist Church.

Henderson honored churches with missions to all four quadrants of the Acts 1:8 Challenge, including First Baptist Church of Haleiwa, First Baptist Church of Wahiawa, Kaumana Driva Baptist Church, Waikiki Baptist Church, Lanai Baptist Church and Happy Valley Baptist Church.

The convention also recognized churches sponsoring new congregations: Calvary Baptist Church, Marianas Baptist Church, Fellowship Baptist Church, Waikiki Baptist Church, Kona Baptist Church, Cornerstone Christian Fellowship, Hilo Baptist Church and Kohala Baptist Church.

Messengers approved an overall budget of $3.6 million for 2009, a 1.1 percent increase over the current year. The budget includes anticipated Cooperative Program giving of $1,215,640 from Hawaii churches, plus funding from the North American Mission Board and LifeWay Christian Resources. The convention will continue to allocate 31.5 percent of Cooperative Program receipts to national and international missions and ministries.

In other business, messengers voted to approve a three-year partnership with International Mission Board workers in West Africa. An agreement signed by the convention’s president, Robert Miller, and Mike Hand, an IMB regional coordinator, pledged support in providing resources about the countries in West Africa and urging mission teams to volunteer to help meet needs in those countries.

The total number of messengers for the two-day meeting was 198 representing 49 churches. The Hawaii Pacific Baptist Convention has 97 affiliated and cooperating churches with 25 missions and seven language departments for a total of 130 congregations on 11 islands of the Pacific.

Miller, pastor of Waialae Baptist Church in Honolulu, was re-elected president; Walter Agena, a member of OlaNui! on Oahu, was elected first vice president; Steve Irvin, pastor of Pali View Baptist Church in Honolulu, was elected second vice president; and Nancy Whitehead, a member of Cornerstone Christian Fellowship on Hawaii, was elected recording secretary.

Several resolutions were passed including two affirming HPBC’s partnerships with the California Southern Baptist Convention and the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. Messengers also approved a resolution expressing gratitude for the Japan Baptist Mission partnership which concluded in 2008.

Each session involved worship led by praise and worship teams from Kauamana Drive Baptist Church, Kona Baptist Church and In Christ Alone House Ministries. Merrill “Bo” Russell, pastor emeritus of Koza Baptist Church in Okinawa, Japan, preached the annual sermon on the final night of the meeting.

Next year’s annual meeting will be Nov. 5-6 at Olivet Baptist Church in Honolulu.
Faith McFatridge writes for the Hawaii Pacific Baptist Convention.

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  • Faith McFatridge