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Kan.-Neb. Baptists challenged to reach each home with gospel

OMAHA, Neb. (BP)–Southern Baptists in Nebraska and Kansas were challenged to share the gospel with people “One By One” and reach out to every home in the two states.
“There is still much land to be possessed,” KNCSB President Neal Alford quoted Joshua 13:1b to the crowd attending the 52nd annual meeting of the Kansas-Nebraska Convention of Southern Baptists.
Westside Baptist Church, Omaha, was host to the Oct. 20-21 meeting which drew 300 messengers and 50 guests.
The crowd heard challenges to share the gospel, listened to musical presentations by Westside’s music ministry, conducted business and shared prayer concerns.
Don Lacy, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, Valley Center, Kan., was elected as the new KNCSB president by acclamation. He has served for the past two years as vice president.
Tom Wenig, a retired director of missions from Kearney, Neb., was elected the new vice president, in a 74-71 ballot over Tony Lambert, Westside’s pastor.
Wenig was director of missions of the Western Nebraska Baptist Association for 20 years. The association dissolved on Sept. 30, 1994, making way for new associations to form in western Nebraska.
Bryan Jones and Mari Jaquith were re-elected recording secretary and assistant recording secretary. Jones is pastor of First Southern Baptist Church, Junction City, Kan., and Jaquith is a member of Seaman Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan.
Tony Mattia was chosen as the new KNCSB historian. He is pastor of Trinity Baptist Church, Wamego, Kan.
Messengers also adopted the 1998 KNCSB Resources for Ministry budget, with anticipated receipts and disbursements totaling $4,150,920, an increase of 6.2 percent over 1997.
Cooperative Program receipts anticipated in 1998 total $2,304,996. Giving to Southern Baptist national causes was increased by one half of 1 percent to 31 percent.
Following the meeting theme of “One By One,” featured speakers challenged the crowd to saturate Nebraska and Kansas with the gospel.
Alford took his text from Nehemiah and shared statistics about the immense needs in the two states, which encompass 198 counties, 94 of which have no Southern Baptist work. Some of these counties have no evangelical witness at all.
Nehemiah had a comfortable job as the king’s cupbearer, Alford recounted, yet the prophet was broken when he heard of the needs in Jerusalem and left his comfortable world to lead in rebuilding the city.
Just as Nehemiah was burdened about the needs in Jerusalem, Alford challenged Kansas-Nebraska Southern Baptists to have a burden for the two states. “Oh, God, give us a burden for the two states (you) have given us the privilege to be a part of,” Alford said.
He cited the “Stand in the Gap” theme of the recent Promise Keepers rally in Washington.
Alford then challenged Southern Baptists in Nebraska and Kansas to stand in the gap and reach every home in the two states.
Just as various families rebuilt sections of the wall in Jerusalem, Alford challenged churches and associations to reach people in their own areas, then help reach out in other parts of the two states.
Veteran church planter Wilbur Noble of Topeka, Kan., challenged Kansas-Nebraska Southern Baptists to enter doors God is opening in the two states.
“The doors are wide open in Kansas-Nebraska, and all we have to do is go in,” he said.
Noble, who has been planting churches in Kansas since 1948, preached the annual sermon, using 1 Corinthians 16:9 as his text. His 10th church start, Clay Street Baptist Church in Topeka, opened its doors in mid-July.
The 72-year-old Noble said he retired 11 years ago but has not slowed his pace. “How can you retire when people are dying and going to hell all around you?” Noble challenged the crowd to get busy sharing the gospel. “Our days are numbered. If we’re going to do anything, we’d better get at it.”
Jim Henry, immediate past president of the Southern Baptist Convention, closed the annual meeting by delivering the keynote address. He challenged the crowd to follow the example of Phillip in Acts 8 as he led the Ethiopian eunuch to Christ. Henry, pastor of First Baptist Church, Orlando, Fla., said this was his first trip to Nebraska.
The 1998 KNCSB annual meeting will be Oct. 19-21 at First Southern Baptist Church, Garden City, Kan.

    About the Author

  • Eva Wilson

    Eva Wilson is editor of the Baptist Digest, newsjournal of the Kansas-Nebraska Convention of Southern Baptists. Retired editor Tim Boyd contributed to this report.

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