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Historic note-burning highlights Colo. meeting

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (BP)–Messengers at the 49th annual meeting of the Colorado Baptist General Convention celebrated a historic note-burning following the final payment of a significant debt.

About 190 messengers gathered at the Adam’s Mark Hotel in Grand Junction for the Oct. 19-20 meeting hosted by Bookcliff Baptist Church. Under the theme of “Bound to Commitment,” Colorado’s Southern Baptists celebrated God’s work across the state and resolved to continue to reach toward all pockets of lostness in the state.

The note-burning represented the closing of a chapter that started in the late 1980s when the Baptist Foundation of Colorado went into debt.

“The CBGC made sure that none of the investors lost any money,” said Doug Lohrey, director of the CBGC’s finance and operations division. The Colorado convention went into debt by $2.6 million to save the foundation’s investors.

The note-burning was a symbolic end to the debt, which frees up $240,000 each year for mission causes in Colorado.

Messengers approved a 2005 budget of more than $3.7 million, almost a 2 percent increase over 2004. More than $1.5 million is expected to be given to missions by Colorado’s Southern Baptists, with 29 percent again to be forwarded to the Southern Baptist Convention international and national missions causes through the Cooperative Program.

In the 2005 budget, funding was established for a Western Slope office of the CBGC, with the satellite office aiming to better resource and service the churches on the Western Slope of Colorado.

Also in the 2005, the CBGC will give $75,000 to the Rocky Mountain Campus of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary.

The Rocky Mountain Campus reported an enrollment of 70 students this year, up from 24 three years ago. New GGBTS President Jeff Iorg brought greetings to the messengers.

Messengers approved a new four-year partnership with the Missouri Baptist Convention. Roy Spannagel, MBC associate executive director, was on hand to sign the agreement. Spannagel previously served as pastor at First Southern Baptist Church in Pueblo, Colo., and as associate pastor at Riverside Baptist Church in Denver. He also served as president of the CBGC for two years.

Establishing at least 75 church-to-church partnerships is one of the stated goals of the agreement. Out of that would come the planting of at least 150 new churches.

Messengers also voted to extend the current international partnership with Baptists in Belarus. That partnership will continue for at least three more years.

The CBGC’s two ministry entities — the Baptist Foundation of Colorado and the Ponderosa Retreat & Conference Center — both reported good years.

Toby Williams of Vista Grande Baptist Church, was re-elected as convention president, as were Charlie Jones, pastor of Fellowship of the Rockies in Pueblo, and Darrin Crow, Baptist Campus Ministries director at Mesa State College and pastor of Heart of Junction Church in Grand Junction, as first and second vice president, respectively.

Next year’s annual meeting will be hosted by Applewood Baptist Church, Wheat Ridge, on Oct. 21-22.

    About the Author

  • Allen Spencer