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Iowa Baptists turn spotlight toward partnership missions

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (BP)–“Celebrate Partnership Missions” was the theme of the Baptist Convention of Iowa’s Nov. 5-6 annual meeting at Southern Hills Baptist Church in Sioux City in western Iowa.

Iowa Baptists’ focus on missions included:

— affirmation of the Tennessee-Iowa partnership, Jenifer Barrentine, daughter of the convention’s executive director, Jimmy Barrentine, and his wife, Joan, being recognized for their work in coordinating the involvement of Iowa Baptists.

In a resolution, the convention said the partnership with Tennessee Baptists is “for the purpose of evangelizing the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ” and that “with much love, prayer, and tenacity we accept the challenge to cooperate in the seeking of the lost, the comforting of those hurting, the joy of fellowship and the harvesting of souls to the glory of God.”

James Porch, executive director of the Tennessee Baptist Convention, was among the convention’s featured speakers.

— recognition of Iowa Baptist volunteers who participated in the convention’s Oct. 12-14 missions trip to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, along with disaster relief volunteers who worked in Florida after the recent hurricanes. The disaster relief teams made four trips to Florida to do recovery work and to staff feeding units. A special offering during the convention raised $466 for disaster relief efforts.

— testimonies from two chaplains, disaster relief chaplain Mike Carlson and mental health chaplain Bob Stout with the Iowa Department of Corrections, representing Baptist chaplains serving in Iowa

The annual meeting drew 81 messengers and 33 registered guests from 37 churches among the convention’s 96 churches and missions encompassing 13,042 members statewide.

In the election of officers, the convention’s new president is Dan Doolin, pastor of Solid Rock Baptist Church in Wapello; first vice president, Larry Carter, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Clinton; second vice president, Bob Stout, pastor of Quimby (Iowa) Baptist Church. Each was elected without opposition. Terry Wilkinson, co-pastor of CrossPointe Church in West Des Moines, was re-elected as recording secretary.

Messengers approved a 2005 budget of $1,818,244, a 5.88 percent increase over the current year. The convention will continue to allocate 20 percent of Cooperative Program receipts from Iowa churches for missions and ministries of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Barrentine, in his message to the convention, voiced a call to evangelize and baptize new believers during the 2005 “Year of Harvest,” the concluding theme of the three-year “Kingdom Growth Now” emphasis adopted by Iowa Baptists in conjunction with the Empowering Kingdom Growth and What Now America emphases across the SBC.

The convention’s outgoing president, David Miller, pastor of Northbrook Baptist Church in Cedar Rapids, encouraged Iowa Baptists to honor the cross of Christ through the sermons and music in their churches. He quoted the great hymns of faith and other Christian songs giving honor to the cross.

Miller’s sermon concluded with the words, “The preaching of the cross will always be foolishness to the world, but it will always be the power of God to salvation to those who believe. So we preach Christ crucified. May we always be fools for Christ, who preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” Miller served two terms as president after completing the term of Leo Endel, who became executive director of the Minnesota-Wisconsin Baptist Convention.

Special recognition was given to:

— Dan Wills, named 2005 pastor of the year by the convention’s church health team. Wills is the pastor of Ridgecrest Baptist Church in Council Bluffs.

— Richard Nations, the convention’s church health team leader, for 10 years of service. Also recognized for five years of service were Jon Jamison, co-director of the Friendship Baptist Center and church-community ministries consultant; Mindy Jamison, co-director of the Friendship Baptist Center and Woman’s Missionary Union consultant; Roger Graves, North Central & South Central Baptist Associations associational missionary/church starter strategist; James Robinson, Great Rivers Baptist Association associational missionary/church starter strategist; and Ed Gregory, missions team leader/associate executive director.

— three longtime Iowa Baptist leaders who died during the past year: Terrance Shane, pastor of University Baptist Church in Ames, Virjama Hamilton, member of University Baptist Church in Ames, and Lonney Hulsey, retired pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Glenwood.

Representatives from the International Mission Board, the North American Mission Board, LifeWay Christian Resources, the SBC Executive Committee and GuideStone Financial Resources (Annuity Board) gave reports to the messengers.

Related meetings were held prior to and after the convention sessions. The ministers’ conference held a joint session with the pastors’ wives this year, hosting Brooks and Shirley Faulkner of Nashville, Tenn., as the featured speakers.

Next year’s annual meeting will be Nov. 4-5 at First Baptist Church in Winterset.
Based on reporting by Richard Nations of the Iowa convention.

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