MARQUETTE, Mich. (BP)–Michigan Baptists strengthened their embrace last year of the Baptist Faith and Message statement of beliefs by adding it this year to their constitution.
Nearly 200 messengers and guests representing 69 of the Baptist State Convention of Michigan’s 306 churches and all 14 associations gathered at the Holiday Inn in Marquette Nov. 2-4 for the annual meeting.
Messengers affirmed the statement of Southern Baptist beliefs “in word and spirit” in a resolution last year regarding guidelines for requesting assistance from the state convention, and this year they added a constitutional amendment related to the BF&M.
In their 2003 resolution, Michigan Baptists stated that “all individuals or churches receiving assistance must approve the Baptist Faith and Message as adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention.”
The 2003 resolution also noted that a “re-clarification of biblical truth and teaching is needed to respond to the current cultural controversies concerning same-sex marriage, the role of women, the nature of the family, and other issues of gender and sexuality.”
An amendment regarding state convention officers passed after various changes were made. The constitution now states that officers must have been a member of the same participating church for one year and the church must give at least 5 percent of undesignated funds to the Cooperative Program.
Messengers also voted to move future annual meetings away from national and state election dates and to change the bylaws to place limitations on family members in serving on the convention’s executive committee.
A 2005 budget of $3,911,637 was approved, marking a decrease from the current budget of $3,925,465. A total of $401,994 is allotted for the state’s Bambi Lake Retreat and Conference Center, and 30 percent of Cooperative Program receipts from Michigan churches will continue to go to SBC national and international missions and ministries.
Wayne Parker, pastor of Merriman Road Baptist Church in Garden City, was elected convention president; Ken Render, pastor of Lakeside Church in St. Clair Shores, was elected first vice president; Roy Southerland, pastor of Monroe Missionary Baptist Church in Monroe, second vice president; and August Peters, pastor of Frontier Baptist Church in Hillsdale, recording secretary.
The vision and strategy for the convention’s theme for the next two years emphasizing evangelism, named “What Now, Michigan?” was presented to messengers by Gary MacManamy, the convention’s evangelism team leader.
Next year’s meeting will be Nov. 8-10 at Warren Woods Baptist Church in Warren.
Based on a report by Julie Scheving.