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Ky. Baptists address U.S. economy


LEXINGTON, Ky. (BP)–The 171st annual meeting of the Kentucky Baptist Convention convened Nov. 11 at Immanuel Baptist Church in Lexington with the theme “Sharing Christ with Urgency.”

Kentucky Baptists hit their knees in fervent prayer, most notably following the message delivered by David Platt during the meeting’s closing session.

Sharing stories of his experiences with underground church leaders in Asia, Platt, the 30-year-old pastor of The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Ala., told Kentucky Baptists the only way to be “urgent in the mission of Christ” is to develop “deep zeal” for His glory.

He insisted that American Christians could stand to become more like those believers who risk everything to follow Christ, without multimillion dollar facilities and overabundant resources.

“There’s a people of God that doesn’t believe you need all the stuff, that the power of God … is enough to grow His church — and they are right,” Platt said.

Noting that more than 4.5 billion people in the world are “on a road that leads to an eternal hell,” he said, “We don’t have time to play games in church. We don’t have time to soothe ourselves, not with the urgency of the mission before us. I believe it starts with being a people who fall on our faces and say, ‘Lord Jesus, You are worthy of my trust.'”


This year’s meeting was the first to be held in a single day since last year’s messengers approved a proposal to conduct all convention business in one day. According to Steve Thompson, the KBC’s assistant executive director, this year was the first time in modern history that the convention’s annual business meeting was conducted in one day.

With little business to address, the number of registered messengers dipped yet again, from 942 last year to 804 this year. It was the lowest attendance for a KBC annual meeting since 1968.

All five convention officers were elected by acclamation. John Mark Toby, pastor of Beacon Hill Baptist Church in Somerset, was elected president. It marked the second consecutive year that a Kentucky Baptist president was elected without opposition.

Other officers include Skip Alexander, pastor of Campbellsville Baptist Church, first vice president; Lee James, pastor of Bellview Baptist Church in Paducah, second vice president; Wilma Simmons (re-elected), a member of Big Springs Baptist Church in Vine Grove, secretary; and Mike Melloan (re-elected), a member of Yellow Creek Baptist Church in Owensboro, assistant secretary.

Messengers also approved a Cooperative Program budget goal of $24,480,000 for the 2009-10 fiscal year, an increase of 2 percent from the current goal. That includes an allocation of 37.32 percent to Southern Baptist Convention causes, an increase of 0.28 percent over this year.

Five resolutions were adopted without debate. Protecting the sanctity of life and helping families deal with the struggling U.S. economy were the two main topics addressed.

Recognizing that “Holy Scripture reveals that all human life is created in the image of God” and that an “unborn baby is a person bearing the image of God from the moment of conception,” the pro-life resolution urges Kentucky Baptist churches “to remain vigilant in the protection of human life by preaching the whole counsel of God.”

It decries the efforts of some church leaders in the United States to convince others to “move beyond the abortion discussion,” relegating the issue to the background.

The resolution urges Kentucky Baptists to “pray and work for the repeal” of Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision which legalized abortion; to support pro-adoption legislation; and to pray for “the day when the act of abortion will be not only illegal, but also unthinkable.”

Messengers also adopted a resolution calling on Kentucky Baptists to continue to “support the gospel advance through tithes and offerings” even during times of economic hardship.

With Kentucky families struggling “with economic challenges ranging from rising fuel costs and plummeting retirement investments to unemployment and even the loss of homes,” the resolution urges Kentucky Baptist churches to pray corporately and personally for those who struggle.

Messengers adopted three additional resolutions, including one encouraging KBC churches to participate in Crossover Louisville next year prior to the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention; and a measure intended to help develop young leaders within the convention.

Next year’s annual meeting will be Nov. 10 at Severns Valley Baptist Church in Elizabethtown.
Drew Nichter is news director for the Western Recorder, newsjournal of the Kentucky Baptist Convention.