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Minn.-Wis. Baptists move toward CP goal

REEDSBURG, Wis. (BP) — Minnesota-Wisconsin Baptists will operate next year on a slightly smaller budget than this year’s, while giving a greater percentage of Cooperative Program receipts to Southern Baptist national and international missions, the Minnesota-Wisconsin Baptist Convention reported.

The MWBC approved a $1,967,851 budget for 2014, 1 percent less than in 2013, but with a 0.5 percentage point increase in CP gifts to be forwarded to Southern Baptist Convention causes. Minnesota-Wisconsin Baptists will provide 15 percent of CP receipts from affiliated churches, or $69,224, to the SBC next year, toward the two-state convention’s goal of forwarding 50 percent of CP receipts to SBC missions and ministries.

The MWBC adopted the budget at their Oct. 25-26 annual meeting at Trinity Baptist Church in Reedsburg, Wis., with “Hands of Hope” as their theme. The 94 messengers present represented 54 churches and were joined by 65 guests.

Newly elected as officers are president Rick Schulze, pastor of Graceway Fellowship in Green Bay, Wis.; first vice president Martin Knox, pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Rochester, Minn.; second vice president Paul Fries, pastor of both Heartland Church in Richland Center, Wis., and Blue River Valley Church in Muscoda, Wis.; recording secretary Wes Shemwell, a member of Midvale Baptist Church in Madison, Wis., and assistant recording secretary Jim Gress, a member of Southtown Baptist Church in Bloomington, Minn.

Bob Turner, pastor of River of Life Church in Portage, Wis., delivered the annual message and John Nix of Vertical Purpose Ministries who led Bible studies.

Other speakers included Frank Page, president of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee; Gary Frost, vice president for the Midwest Region of the North American Mission Board; and Micah Fries, vice president of LifeWay Research; Messengers honored David Sundeen for 27 years of service as a pastor, director of missions and state convention staff member. He resigned in October as MWBC evangelism and stewardship catalyst to become director of online education at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Messengers also honored Dennis Hansen for 20 years of service as director of missions and church planting catalyst of the Bay Lakes Baptist Association and Steve Melvin for 15 years as MWBC church planting catalyst.

Next year’s annual meeting will be Oct. 31-Nov. 1 at Cross Point Church in Cambridge, Minn.

Held in conjunction with the annual meeting were a Called Out event for youth at Expeditions Unlimited in nearby Baraboo, Wis., and the Minnesota-Wisconsin Woman’s Missionary Union annual meeting, with the theme, “The story lives on: tell the Gospel story and ignite a passion for the Great Commission in all generations.” The 36 WMU attendees elected Kimberlee Redington as president, Rebecca Lemaster as vice president and Connie Shemwell as secretary, and sponsored WMU’s annual missions banquet, with 141 people in attendance.
Compiled from a report by David Williams, editor of The Minnesota-Wisconsin Baptist, newjournal of the Minnesota-Wisconsin Baptist Convention.

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