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Illinois Baptist messengers pledge to work harder in northern Illinois

EFFINGHAM, Ill. (BP)–Messengers to Illinois Baptist State Association’s annual meeting Nov. 5-6 committed themselves to planting churches in northern Illinois and reaching the region for Christ. They also re-elected their convention president and adopted a $5.5 million Cooperative Program budget for 1998.
Bob Wiley, IBSA’s executive director, closed the session with an emotional challenge for Illinois Baptists to do a better job of spreading the gospel in northern Illinois.
“We have not … been in the business of planting churches,” Wiley said. “We have not been engaged in discovering the people. Our hearts need to be broken so that we can go. There are so many lost people around us.”
The annual meeting concluded with pastors and ministers from southern Illinois laying hands on and praying for pastors of northern Illinois churches. Wiley also presented a list of 100 towns in northern Illinois that are under-churched and asked messengers to commit to pray for a specific town.
Gene Gibson, pastor of Mission of Faith Baptist Church in Chicago, was re-elected IBSA president by acclamation, while Roger Marshall, pastor of First Baptist Church, Effingham, was re-elected vice president. The annual meeting was held in Effingham’s convention center.
The $5,535,747 Cooperative Program budget for 1998 is an increase of $73,924 over the 1997 budget. The 1998 Cooperative Program ratio of 59.25 percent for IBSA ministries and 40.75 percent for Southern Baptist Convention causes is the same ratio used in 1997.
Messengers also approved the following recommendations from IBSA’s board of directors:
— that separate boards of trustees be created for the Baptist Children’s Home and the Baptist Foundation of Illinois.
— that the constitution committee be authorized to oversee the writing of bylaws for IBSA’s constitution.
— that unspent funds from the 1998 general fund be allocated as follows: 34 percent for the ISBA’s Kazakstan partnership; 33 percent for specialized leadership training; and 33 percent for capital expenditures.
— that the IBSA salary scale be adjusted upward 2.5 percent (with the exceptions of levels 6 and 7), and that an additional amount of 1.5 percent be set aside for adjustments in salary above the 2.5 percent increase.
Three resolutions were adopted: one opposing gambling, one concerning ministry to the poor in light of welfare reform and one of appreciation for the host church, IBSA officers and staff.
Next year’s IBSA meeting will be Nov. 4-5 at the Clock Tower Conference Center in Rockford.

    About the Author

  • Tim Ellsworth

    Tim Ellsworth is associate vice president for university communications at Union University in Jackson, Tenn. BP reports on missions, ministry and witness advanced through the Cooperative Program and on news related to Southern Baptists’ concerns nationally and globally.

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