LENEXA, Kan. (BP)–Messengers were challenged to keep the old treasures of doctrine and cooperation while embracing new treasures at the 63rd annual meeting of the Kansas-Nebraska Convention of Southern Baptists at Westside Family Church in Lenexa, Kan., Oct. 13-14.
The theme of the meeting was “Balanced Kingdom Leadership: Embracing Treasures Old and New,” based on Mark 13:52, which says, “The kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.” The meeting drew 354 messengers and 231 registered visitors.
Messengers approved a 2009 budget of $5,673,852, a 1 percent increase from the current budget. Cooperative Program receipts from Kansas-Nebraska Southern Baptist churches are anticipated to total $3,246,000, 32 percent of which will continue to be forwarded to Southern Baptist national and international missions and ministries.
All officers were re-elected by acclamation: Steve Holdaway, pastor of LifeSpring Church in Bellevue, Neb., president; Ron Pracht, pastor of Olivet Southern Baptist Church in Wichita, Kan., vice president; Bryan Jones, pastor of Tyler Road Southern Baptist Church in Wichita, Kan., recording secretary; and Tony Mattia, pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Wamego, Kan., historian.
Messengers adopted two resolutions, one expressing appreciation to the host church and the other urging Christians to pray for and vote in the presidential election. Carl Garrett, the convention staff liaison with the resolutions committee, said plans are being made to abolish that committee.
In other activity, R. Rex “Peck” Lindsay, the convention’s executive director, thanked Kansas-Nebraska Southern Baptists for their unwavering support of the Webster Conference Center. The facility is located in Salina, Kan., near the junction of Interstates 70 and 135. In the past 20 years, Southern Baptists have given $3 million to support capital needs at the conference center, which has helped keep the costs down for children and youth to attend camp and respond to the Gospel.
Several awards were presented for missions and volunteer work:
— Lee Martin of Topeka, Kan., was honored for his 15-year career as a chaplain with the Topeka Police Department. After his recent retirement, Martin started Family Dispatch Church, which seeks to reach law enforcement officers and firefighters.
— Elijah “Touch” Touchton of Pittsburg, Kan., received the Kelley Shelton Memorial Award for a Mission Service Corps missionary.
— Lora Robinson of Valley Center, Kan., received a national disaster relief award from the North American Mission Board. Robinson has led such Kansas-Nebraska efforts as relief in Florida during the 2004 hurricanes; the 2005 feeding operation in Biloxi, Miss., following Hurricane Katrina; the feeding effort in Greensburg, Kan., after the May 4, 2007, tornado; and the recent feeding operation in central Louisiana after Hurricane Gustav.
— Mary Jo Robertson of Kansas City, Kan., was honored for her life achievement in the area of church and community ministries. “Her life has been a life of ministry,” Bob Mills, KNCSB director of missions, said.
— First Southern Baptist Church in Pratt, Kan., was honored for its support after the tornado in Greensburg, Kan., last year. The church has hosted volunteers from 16 states since the tornado.
The Kansas-Nebraska Convention of Southern Baptists has about 400 congregations with 63,000 members.
Next year’s annual meeting will be Oct. 12-13 at Country Acres Baptist Church in Wichita, Kan.
Eva Wilson is associate editor of The Baptist Digest, newsjournal of the Kansas-Nebraska Convention of Southern Baptists.