WICHITA, Kan. (BP)–This year’s annual meeting of the Kansas-Nebraska Convention of Southern Baptists focused largely on Executive Director R. Rex (Peck) Lindsay, who is retiring Dec. 31 after nearly 40 years with the convention.
Lindsay joined the convention staff in 1971 as director of missions and assumed the role of executive director in 1977. His wife Sue helped develop the KNCSB church library ministry into a nationally recognized program and has worked in the KNCSB archives to preserve the convention’s history.
The couple was honored with a reception after the opening session of the convention’s Oct. 12-13 meeting at Country Acres Baptist Church in Wichita, Kan. Among the gifts presented at the reception were two memory books complied by Nancy Cokely, a pastor’s wife in Iola, Kan.
Roger S. Oldham, vice president for convention relations with the SBC’s Executive Committee, presented Lindsay with a framed resolution of appreciation adopted during the EC’s September meeting.
The resolution praised Lindsay’s enduring leadership legacy, citing in part: “During his tenure, the number of churches cooperating with the Kansas-Nebraska Convention of Southern Baptists almost doubled, from 207 to approximately 400 churches and missions, and church membership increased by almost 50 percent.” Total giving by the two states’ Baptists, meanwhile, increased by more than 450 percent, the resolution stated.
The Lindsays’ children and their families also were recognized. Natalee Beck and her husband Todd and their four children live in Eudora, Kan. Nate Lindsay and his wife Marla live in Overland Park, Kan. Marla Lindsay’s father, Mike McKinney, is pastor of Leawood Baptist Church, Leawood, Kan.
Peck Lindsay is passing the leadership baton to Bob Mills, the convention’s director of missions who joined the staff in 1998.
Annual meeting participants included 391 messengers and 231 registered visitors.
Messengers approved a 2010 KNCSB budget of $5,752,476, which is a 1 percent decrease from 2009. Cooperative Program gifts from Kansas-Nebraska Southern Baptist churches are anticipated to be $3,246,000, the same as the current year, with the percentage forwarded for national and international missions and ministries to remain at 32 percent.
In the convention’s presidential message, Steve Holdaway, pastor of LifeSpring Church in Bellevue, Neb., issued a strong call for cooperation and for the two states’ Baptists to “finish well.”
Ron Pracht, pastor of Olivet Baptist Church in Wichita, was elected president of the convention. John Shields, pastor of Parkview Baptist Church in Lexington, Neb., was elected vice president.
Messengers re-elected Bryan Jones, pastor of Tyler Road Southern Baptist Church in Wichita, as recording secretary; Gloria Garner, a member of First Baptist Church in Burlington, Kan., as assistant recording secretary; and Tony Mattia, pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Wamego, Kan., as historian.
The convention passed a resolution expressing appreciation to Country Acres for hosting the gathering..
An effort to abolish the resolutions committee in the KNCSB bylaws failed. Later in the meeting, the committee on committees named Blake Orr of Winfield, Kan., to the resolutions committee. The existing members are David VanBebber of Riley, Kan., and Dale Donnelly of Tekamah, Neb.
Also during the convention, numerous people were recognized for their service in missions, chaplaincy and disaster relief.
Wayne and Ruth Ann Kittelson of Omaha received the Kelley Shelton Memorial Award for Mission Service Corps missionaries. The Kittelsons are directors of volunteers for Nebraska. MSC is the long-term volunteer program of the North American Mission Board.
Gordon Herb of Wichita received the 2009 KNCSB Chaplaincy Award. He was an Army chaplain from 1979-99 and has been a disaster relief chaplain since 1995. His wife Vi has served at his side in such places as New York City after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, along the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina, and in Kentucky after a severe ice storm earlier this year.
A disaster relief award was established this year in memory of one of the state’s leading DR volunteers, James L. “Jim” Jones, who died last December. The award will be presented to his wife Janet during the annual meeting of the Western Kansas Baptist Association.
Next year’s annual meeting will be Oct. 11-12 at the Ramada Inn Convention Center in Kearney, Neb.
Eva Wilson is associate editor of The Baptist Digest, newsjournal of the Kansas-Nebraska Convention of Southern Baptists.