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Miss. Baptists increase budget by 2%

JACKSON, Miss. (BP)–Messengers at the Mississippi Baptist Convention’s 173rd annual meeting approved a record Cooperative Program budget for 2009 and elected Columbus pastor Mickey Dalrymple to a second term as president.

The Oct. 28-29 sessions were held at First Baptist Church in Jackson.

The 2009 Cooperative Program budget of $34,940,629, approved without opposition, represents an increase of just under 2 percent, or $676,866, over the 2008 budget.

The Southern Baptist Convention portion of the 2009 Mississippi Cooperative Program will continue at 35 percent ($12,229,220). A total of 24.8 percent ($8,658,013) will go to Mississippi Baptist institutions and entities; 37.4 percent ($13,069,396) will go to Mississippi Baptist Convention Board programs; and 2.8 percent ($984,000) will go to church retirement and protection.

In total dollars, the Southern Baptist Convention portion of the budget reflects an increase of $236,903 (2 percent). The Mississippi institutions and agencies section increases $178,711 (2.1 percent) and the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board section increases $261,252 (2 percent).

If Mississippi Cooperative Program giving exceeds the budget in 2009, the challenge portion will be divided 50 percent to Christian education, 25 percent to coastal evangelism in the state and 25 percent to Southern Baptist mission causes.

Dalrymple, longtime pastor of Fairview Baptist Church in Columbus, was reelected by acclamation to his second one-year term as president. He was nominated by Kermit McGregor, transitional pastor at Hillcrest Baptist Church in New Albany. David Hamilton, pastor of West Heights Baptist Church in Pontotoc, also was re-elected by acclamation to a second one-year term as first vice president. Rickey Blythe, pastor of First Baptist Church in New Albany, was elected as second vice president, defeating Edd Lawrence, pastor of Clarksdale Baptist Church in Clarksdale, and Joe Pate, pastor of First Baptist Church in Greenwood. Blythe replaces Steve Mooneyham, director of missions for the Gulf Coast Baptist Association in Gulfport, who declined to be nominated for a second one-year term. Michael Weeks, pastor of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Olive Branch, was elected by acclamation as recording secretary. He served for several years as associate recording secretary and replaces longtime recording secretary Gus Merritt of Newton, retired pastor of Clarke Venable Baptist Church in Decatur, who declined to be nominated.

A pair of resolutions was submitted by messengers, and both were approved without opposition. One resolution thanked the Mississippi Baptist Convention family for their support of the Cooperative Program and implored Mississippi Baptists to “continue reaching Mississippi and the world for Jesus.” The other resolution expressed appreciation to First Baptist in Jackson for hosting the annual meeting and others “who have served this convention as a labor of love.”

The theme of the 2008 annual meeting was “Ye shall be witnesses in Samaria …” based on Acts 1:8. A total of 1,039 messengers were officially registered during the meeting, up from 979 messengers at the 2007 annual meeting. The convention encompasses 2,134 churches.

The 2009 annual meeting will be Oct. 27-28 at First Baptist in Jackson. Randy Bostick, pastor of Oakland Baptist Church in Corinth, will preach the convention sermon.
William H. Perkins Jr. is editor of The Baptist Record, newsjournal of the Mississippi Baptist Convention.

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  • William H. Perkins Jr.