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Ill. Baptists increase CP giving again

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (BP)–Nearly 500 messengers gathered for the 102nd annual meeting of the Illinois Baptist State Association at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Springfield Nov. 12-13, voting to increase Cooperative Program giving for the second year in a row, approving a revised constitution and reelecting officers.

The CP increase was included in the $9.1 million budget for the IBSA board of directors, a 2.2 percent increase over the current budget. The 2009 Cooperative Program budget of $6.85 million increases the percentage forwarded for national and international missions from 43 percent to 43.25 percent.

IBSA executive director Nate Adams told messengers he was “pleased that the budget proposes sending $77,000 more than last year to national SBC causes.”

Depending on what actions are taken by other state conventions at their annual meetings, Illinois Baptists most likely will remain among the top three or four conventions in the percentage of money given through the Cooperative Program.

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A reorganization of the state convention’s constitution was presented for the required second reading after being submitted initially at last year’s annual meeting. The new document was the result of a thorough two-year review by the constitution and bylaws committee and was approved without opposition.

All four IBSA officers were reelected to serve second one-year terms including Kevin Kerr, pastor of First Baptist Church in Machesney Park, as president. Doug Munton, pastor of First Baptist Church in O’Fallon, was reelected vice president. Don Bigham, a member of Park Avenue Baptist Church in Mt. Vernon, will serve another year as recording secretary, and Wilma Booth, a member of Calvary Baptist in Elgin, was reelected assistant recording secretary.

The resolutions and Christian life committee submitted two resolutions, and both were approved without opposition.

The first resolution expressed appreciation for Illinois Baptist disaster relief workers, resolving that messengers “express heartfelt and deep appreciation for the … devoted service Illinois disaster relief volunteers have given to those in need in the name of the Lord.”

The second resolution exhorted Illinois Baptists to pray for government leaders, concluding with a resolve to “encourage our members, regardless of our personal political affiliations, to be obedient to the Word of God and diligently pray for our government leaders, knowing we can be confident in God Almighty and His will.”

An amendment to delete the phrase “regardless of our personal political affiliations” as possibly divisive was defeated prior to approval.

Illinois Woman’s Missionary Union president Kaye Shipley recognized the 100th anniversary of the missions organization which has been celebrated this year.

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Worship and praise for the meeting were led by Steve Hamrick, IBSA’s director of worship; the praise team from First Baptist Church in Columbia and their director, Mark Warnock; This Hope, a contemporary Christian quartet from Woodstock, Ga.; and the praise team from Metro Community Church in Edwardsville and their worship pastor, Joel Bowder.

Next year’s annual meeting will be Nov. 11-12 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Springfield. Michael Allen, senior pastor of Uptown Baptist Church in Chicago, will deliver the annual sermon.
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Martin King is editor of the Illinois Baptist newspaper.

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