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Ind. Baptists embrace SBC on beliefs, CP, seminaries

MARION, Ind. (BP)–Indiana Baptists affirmed their stand with the Southern Baptist Convention’s Baptist Faith and Message statement of beliefs, the Cooperative Program and the SBC’s six seminaries during their Oct. 24-25 meeting at Sunnycrest Baptist Church, Marion.

In the first of three bylaws changes, the SCBI adopted the BFM as its own expression of faith, embracing the statement of beliefs adopted at the SBC annual meeting in June in Orlando, Fla.

Two resolutions adopted by the 205 messengers expressed the SCBI’s stand with and appreciation for the Cooperative Program and the six SBC seminaries.

The first resolution read in part, “… we the messengers of this 42nd Annual State Convention of Baptists in Indiana reaffirm our support for the Cooperative Program; and … express to all Southern Baptist churches and missions of Indiana our deep appreciation for their sacrificial giving to the cause of Christ through the Cooperative Program … .”

The resolution which dealt specifically with the SBCs seminaries read in part, “… all six of our Southern Baptist seminaries … fulfill their mission in a capable manner; and … excel in academics while upholding doctrinal integrity; and … prepare men and women for kingdom service.”

The SCBI resolved to “voice our appreciation for and reaffirm our support of all six Southern Baptist seminaries; and … encourage our State Executive Director to communicate the content and spirit of this resolution to each seminary president and respective chairman of the board of trustees.”

James McClintock, pastor of Creekwood Baptist Church, Muncie, and a member of the resolutions committee, clarified the need for such resolutions, stating, “We are concerned about the disunity that is occurring in our convention and wanted to do something in a positive manner and go on record as supporting the Cooperative Program and the direction our seminaries are going and to encourage them to continue to go in that direction and to continue to be faithful to God’s Word.

“We wanted to let them know that there are some folks out here who are in full support of them. They often hear the negative and we wanted them to hear the positive,” McClintock said.

McClintock cited Ephesians 4:3 as a way to illustrate the importance of unity in the church: “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”

“The church lives in the real world and unity is fragile,” he said. “But unity must be based on doctrinal integrity. It must be based on the unity of the Word.

“We don’t want to spread discord but we did want to take a stand.”

Another resolution expressed appreciation for the ministry of Lance Shumake, who has resigned as SCBI associate director of youth ministries after three years to begin a youth ministry, I Witness Ministries, to involve youth in missions.

The other bylaws changes included a change in the time when officers of the SCBI executive board are elected. While they used to be elected at the first meeting of the board following the annual meeting, they will now be elected in the last session of the regularly scheduled spring meeting. The last bylaw change added the president of the Indiana Associational Missionaries as an ex-officio member of the executive board.

In other business, an overall $4,303,080 budget was approved for the coming year, an increase of 4.9 percent, including a Cooperative Program budget of $2,582,000, reflecting an ongoing 40 percent allocation to Southern Baptist Convention national and international missions and ministries.

Elected without opposition as convention president and first vice president, respectively, were Glen Flowers, pastor of Oakhill Baptist church Evansville, and Randy Gaskey, pastor of Roselawn (Ind.) Baptist Church. Jim Hamilton, pastor of First Baptist Church, Sellersburg, was elected second vice president on a ballot with one other nominee. Sara Burk, a member of Grace Baptist Church, Evansville, was re-elected without opposition as recording secretary.

Next year’s annual meeting will be Oct. 30-31 at New Life Baptist Church, Osceola.

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  • Chip Bayer