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Ky. convention president is first layman in 23 years

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)–A layman was elected president of the Kentucky Baptist Convention for the first time in 23 years during a quiet annual meeting at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, Nov 10-11.
Charles Barnes, retired executive vice president of National City Bank in Louisville, said he hopes his election sends a message to both pastors and laypeople.
“We need the same kind of commitment in the pew as we need in the pulpit,” said Barnes, who has been highly involved in Baptist life in Kentucky, currently serving as interim executive director for the Long Run Baptist Association in Louisville, chairman of the financial board for Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, a trustee for the Kentucky Baptist Foundation and an honorary trustee at Cumberland College.
“That and the local church keep me busy,” said Barnes, 62, a member of Hurstbourne Baptist Church in Louisville. He is a graduate of Kentucky’s Oneida Baptist Institute and the Baptist-related Cumberland College, Williamsburg.
Barnes won an election involving four nominees. Barnes received the most votes in the first balloting, but a runoff was required because he did not receive a majority.
Mark Hopper, pastor of First Baptist Church, Bowling Green, won the election for first vice president. Elected second vice president was Terry Freeman, pastor of Grace Baptist Church, Lexington. Both men faced one challenger for their positions.
No resolutions and only one motion was brought by a messenger from the floor of the convention.
Outgoing President Gayle Toole, pastor of Edgewood Baptist Church, Nicholasville, said one reason so little business came from the floor of the convention was because so much already had been worked out in committees.
“You know, I think we need to carry on the Lord’s business that way,” he said.
The one motion, which was approved, invites local blood banks to future annual meetings so Kentucky Baptists can give blood, symbolic of Jesus’ sacrifice.
The 1,326 messengers approved a Cooperative Program goal of nearly $21.5 million, with 35.357 percent going to national Southern Baptist missions agencies and institutions and 64.642 percent going to KBC causes. Their contribution to the SBC rose by .357 percent.
All six resolutions from convention’s resolutions committee were approved. They included support for more relief assistance to relieve hunger in Russia, lowering the blood-alcohol limit at which someone can be charged with drunk driving and limiting beer ads during the 2002 Winter Olympics
Next year’s convention will be held at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center in Covington, Nov. 16-17

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  • David Winfrey