DES MOINES, Iowa (BP) — New church plants and an increase of more than 11 percent in Cooperative Program giving highlighted the 20th annual meeting of the Baptist Convention of Iowa in Des Moines.
About 11 new church plants have ether launched or are holding preview services, BCI Executive Director Tim Lubinus said, noting firm plans for additional church plants in the Des Moines area in 2016.
New church planters introduced included Andrew and Amy Long, Capitol City Church, Carlisle Campus; Cameron and Sarah Scott, Cityscape, Des Moines; Matt and Heather Yoder, Cornerstone Church of Boone; Mark and Twila Scott, Live Love Laugh Church, Des Moines; Noah and Lindsey Braymen, Redeemer Baptist Church, West Des Moines; Richard and Amber Crowson, Redemption Hill Church, Sioux City; Matthew and Keeva O’Mealey and Scott and Laura Carter, Vertical Church, Des Moines; and Ryan and Danielle Hill, Veritas Church of Cedar Rapids.
Messengers approved a 2016 budget of $1.72 million, the BCI reported. Iowa Cooperative Program giving was up 15.02 percent in 2014-2015 for the 12-month period ending Sept. 30, with receipts of $552,473.57.
The BCI received $508,893 from affiliated churches in the 2014 calendar year, forwarding $100,440 to the Southern Baptist Convention. It was the last year the BCI forwarded 20 percent of CP receipts to the SBC before voting to increase the SBC allotment to 50 percent of CP receipts. With an anticipated $600,000 in CP receipts in the 2015 calendar year, the BCI plans to forward $300,000 to the SBC.
The BCI will forward to the SBC 50 percent of an anticipated $618,000 in 2016 CP receipts, for a total of $309,000, the BCI reported.
“Several Iowa churches have significantly increased their financial support to missions through the Cooperative Program,” Lubinus said. “I think it is likely that our decision last year to increase our giving to the executive committee from 20 percent to 50 percent provided us with momentum and incentive to give through the Cooperative Program.”
Two churches, Capitol City Church in Des Moines and Grace Church in Boone, were welcomed into affiliation with the BCI further adding to the 119 BCI churches in the state. Attendance at the Nov. 7 meeting at the Holiday Inn & Suites included 154 messengers and 52 guests representing 53 BCI churches.
“During this year I’ve noticed what may be a new trend. In the past some church leaders have been declaring that denominations are not really needed,” Lubinus said. “Now it seems that the idea of working together for fellowship, support, and shared ministry is making a comeback. Churches that have been independent are asking to join us for cooperative ministry.”
Newly elected officers are president Ken Livingston, pastor of First Grace Baptist Church, Sheffield; first vice president Robert Knight, pastor of New Birth Baptist Church, Ames; second vice president Brandon Barker, pastor of Westwind Church in Waukee, and secretary Jerome Risting, a member of Temple Baptist Church in Mason City.
New pastors were welcomed at several existing churches in Iowa, including pastor Howard and wife Dawn Avery at Ninth Street Baptist Church in Spencer and Faith Baptist in Bedford; Jamie and wife Tasha Cheramie at Calvary Baptist Church in Glenwood; Jim and wife Charlene Fisher at First Baptist Church in Lamoni; Ben and wife Amanda McKim at Calvary Baptist Church in Clarinda, and Matt Risting at First Baptist Church in Albia.
North American Mission Board National Collegiate Strategist Brian Frye told messengers that others are watching what God is doing in Iowa through the BCI and the Salt Company collegiate ministry, which is expanding to campuses in Grinnell, Iowa, and Columbia, Mo. Currently, the Salt Company is impacting students at Iowa State University, the University of Iowa, the University of Northern Iowa, Simpson College and Southwestern Community College.
Guest speakers included Frank S. Page, president and CEO of SBC Executive Committee; Jason Allen, president of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Rafael Cruz, father of U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz. The praise team from Westwind Church in Waukee provided worship music.
Messengers set the 21st annual meeting for Nov. 5, 2016 at the Holiday Inn and Suites Northwest in Des Moines.