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Hawaii Pacific Baptists honor key men in convention’s legacy

KAHULUI, Hawaii (BP)–Hawaii Pacific Baptists looked to the future by celebrating the past as nearly 300 messengers and guests honored four leaders, including former executive directors who died in 2005, Dan Kong and O.W. Efurd.

“We are who we are today because of the legacy left by these men,” said Veryl Henderson, executive director of the Hawaii Pacific Baptist Convention. “It is our responsibility now to do the same for the generations to come.”

In addition to Kong and Efurd, chaplain Kikuo Matsukawa and pastor Wayne Waterhouse were remembered at the HPBC 64th annual meeting Nov. 10-11 at Kahului Baptist Church on Maui. One hundred eighty seven messengers and 125 guests from the Hawaiian islands and American Samoa attended the meeting. The convention extends from Hawaii to Guam, American Samoa and Okinawa.

Kong was the first Hawaii-born pastor of a Southern Baptist church, the only Hawaii-born executive director, and president of Hawaii Baptist Academy. Efurd began two churches in the islands, including Mililani Baptist, which is one of the largest Southern Baptist churches in Hawaii. He also served as president of the Hawaii Baptist Foundation. Waterhouse was pastor of Nanakuli Baptist Church located in one of the most impoverished areas in Hawaii. Matsukawa was a longtime chaplain at the Hawaii State Hospital.

Messengers adopted a budget of $3,060,961 for 2006, the first time the budget has surpassed the $3 million mark. Ken Sakai, a layman at Valley Isle Fellowship on Maui, was reelected as president. Duane McDaniel, pastor of Hawaii Kai Church on Oahu, was elected first vice president, and Robert Miller, pastor of Waialae Baptist Church on Oahu, was elected second vice president. Sharon Walsh, a member of Kailua Baptist Church on Oahu, was elected recording secretary.

Several resolutions were passed including three affirming HPBC’s partnerships with the California Southern Baptist Convention, the Japan Baptist Mission and the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina.

“These partnerships are integral to Hawaii Pacific Baptists’ Kingdom work, and we are grateful to those who stand with us,” Henderson said.

Reports from representatives of Southern Baptist entities and Hawaii Pacific Baptist ministries were presented to messengers, with the HPBC highlighting the Waianae Coast Christian Women’s Job Corps led by Phyllis Waterhouse; the ministry of Waianae Baptist Church and Bryan Wittekind; and The Seafarers Center in Pago Pago, American Samoa, led by Chris and Judy Evans. The Seafarers Center ministers to primarily Southeast Asian fisherman in port in the U.S. territory.

“The ministries we highlighted are representative of the cutting edge, frontlines efforts of so many in our convention across the Pacific region,” Henderson said. “Lives are being changed because so many are willing to follow God’s call.”

Each session involved worship led by praise and worship teams from Pukalani Baptist, Kahului Baptist and the Maui Philippine Baptist churches. Pastor Richard Smith of Valley Isle Fellowship delivered a message on worship the final night, illustrated by songs and dances presented by the worship team from his church. Earlier in the final session, members of the Armed Forces were honored as part of a Veterans Day celebration.

Next year’s annual meeting will be held Nov. 9-10 on Oahu at the Cornerstone Fellowship in Mililani Mauka.

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