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Iowa Baptists’ annual meeting follows ministry retreat

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DES MOINES, Iowa (BP)–The Baptist Convention of Iowa combined its 11th annual meeting with its annual Partners in Ministry Retreat, which messengers said enhanced both events Nov. 2-3 at the Holiday Inn and Suites in Des Moines.

“Abide in Christ” was the theme for the annual meeting, which registered 122 messengers from 44 churches, along with 26 guests.

Preachers during the meeting were Dan Doolin, convention president and pastor of Solid Rock Baptist Church in Wapello; Jimmy Barrentine, the state’s executive director; and Bob Feeler Jr., associate pastor for missions and students at First Baptist Church in Saint Peters, Mo. Each expounded on the call for God’s people to abide in Christ, based on John 15, and affirmed that abiding in Christ is central to God’s redemption strategy.

Bob Luebbert, who has served as pastor of Northwood Baptist Church in Northwood for 19 years, was recognized as the outstanding pastor of the year. He and his wife Mary Jo were honored for their service to the church and community. The town of Northwood also recognized the Luebberts and Northwood Baptist Church as notable contributors to the welfare of the community.

Messengers elected Robert Stout, pastor of Quimby Baptist Church in Quimby, as president; Dan Wiersema, pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Cedar Rapids, first vice president; and Steve Zahare, pastor of First Baptist Church in Bettendorf, second vice president. Terry Wilkinson, co-pastor of CrossPointe Church in West Des Moines, was re-elected secretary.

A budget of $1.6 million was approved for 2007, a 4.2 percent decrease from the previous year’s budget. The budget anticipates $460,000 in CP giving by the state’s churches, 20 percent of which will continue to be forwarded for national and international missions and ministries.

Bob Rodgers, vice president for Cooperative Program with the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee, commended Iowa Baptist churches for their CP giving. Barrentine repeatedly has emphasized the need for the state convention to increase the percentage of Cooperative Program gifts sent from Iowa with the intent of sharing Jesus “all the way from here to there and all in between.”

Messengers approved a resolution affirming marriage “as a holy covenant and faithful relationship between one man and one woman” and a resolution affirming the mission of Christian teachers and students “to vigorously share the Christian message and values through public schools, through religious schools and through home schools.”

The Partners in Ministry Retreat, designed for ministry couples, preceded the annual meeting and featured Bob Feeler Jr. as guest speaker. Rob Hewell, assistant professor of church music at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Ark., was the worship leader.

Officers of the convention’s pastors’ conference primarily plan the Partners in Ministry Retreat, and during the business portion of the retreat new officers were elected: Eric Shumacher, pastor of Northbrook in Cedar Rapids, as president; Ken Livingston, pastor of First Grace Baptist Church in Sheffield, vice president; and Mike Roberts, a member of Waukee Baptist Church in Waukee, treasurer.

The Baptist Convention of Iowa has 100 churches and missions with 13,809 members.

Next year’s retreat and annual meeting will be Nov. 1-3 at the Holiday Inn and Suites in Des Moines.

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  • Richard Nations