SPOKANE, Wash. (BP) — Randy Adams, executive director of the Northwest Baptist Convention (NWBC), described the group’s 2016 annual meeting as “a time of joyful celebration, meaningful fellowship, and heartfelt worship.”
Multiple stories of church revitalization, church planting and missions at home and abroad were heard with testimonies and reports about the Lords’ work through Northwest Baptist churches in the NWBC coverage area of Oregon, Washington and northern Idaho. Messengers also adopted a 2017 budget, elected officers and adopted resolutions voicing messengers’ concerns.
“I think we experienced something of the biblical reality that Jesus is our peace,” Adams said after the meeting, echoing the meeting theme of “Jesus, Our Peace.”
More than 300 messengers and 65 guests attended the 69th annual meeting Nov. 15–16 in Spokane, Wash., drawn from 156 of the NWBC’s more than 450 churches.
The $5,067,600 budget for 2017 is nearly $200,000 less than the 2016 allocation of $5,267,000 because two church planting positions through the North American Mission Board (NAMB) will no longer be funded, according to the NWBC executive office staff. Also, the budget does not include proceeds from the Oasis retreat, a major NWBC event held in alternating years and next slated for 2018. Still, the 2017 budget will include a projected $1.775 million from NAMB
The NWBC anticipates receiving $2.8 million in Cooperative Program giving from NWBC churches, an increase of $23,000 above the $2.777 million received in 2015. Messengers voted to forward 27.75 percent of CP receipts, the same percentage as 2015, to Southern Baptist Convention missions and ministry causes, amounting to $777,000.
Messengers celebrated the addition of 17 new congregations to the NWBC family of churches and the establishment of 22 new church plants.
Current officers were reelected to serve in 2016. They are president Steve Bryant, a member of Highland Baptist Church, Redmond, Ore.; first vice president Matthew Savage, pastor of Journey Church, Everett, Wash.; and second vice president Josh Martin, worship pastor of Resonate Church, Pullman, Wash.
Messengers adopted 10 resolutions recognizing the sanctity of human life; opposing human trafficking; encouraging Christians worldwide who are persecuted for their faith; agreeing to pray for peace, healing, the president-elect and other elected leaders of the United States; expressing appreciation for law enforcement officers and first responders; acknowledging responsibility to fulfill the Great Commission; and expressing appreciation for the NWBC partnership with International Mission Board workers spreading the Gospel in East Asia.
Annual meeting speakers included Bryant, Adams and Bill Schmautz, pastor of East Valley Baptist Church in Spokane Valley, Wash. Worship leaders and musicians from the various campuses of Resonate Church led music during the meeting’s five sessions.
The 2017 annual meeting is slated for Nov. 7-8 in Eugene, Ore.