JACKSON, Miss. (BP) — Messengers unanimously approved a 2018 Mississippi Cooperative Program budget of $31,404,110 at the 182nd annual meeting of the Mississippi Baptist Convention Oct. 31-Nov. 1 at First Baptist Church in Jackson.
The 2018 budget is .08 percent higher than the 2017 budget of $31,378,417. Southern Baptist Convention causes will continue to receive 37.5 percent of the total CP budget.
SBC causes and the amounts to be disbursed in 2018 with a .08 percent increase are:
— International Mission Board, $5,936,633.
— North American Mission Board, $2,683,795.
— Theological education, $2,609,682.
— Southern Baptist Convention operating, $352,040.
— Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, $194,391.
The challenge portion of the 2018 Mississippi Cooperative Program budget — any gifts that exceed the established budget — will be divided 50 percent to Southern Baptist Convention causes and 50 percent to Christian education.
Messenger registration totaled 765, a 7.8 percent decrease from the 2016 annual meeting messenger total of 830.
Mark Vincent, senior pastor of Clarke-Venable Baptist Church in Decatur, defeated Joe Pate, pastor of Forest Baptist Church in Forest, for his first term as the convention’s president. Vote totals were not announced. He succeeds Doug Broome, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Natchez.
John Pace, pastor of First Baptist Church in Terry, was elected by acclamation to a second term as first vice president. Tommy Snyder, pastor of First Baptist Church in Batesville, was elected by acclamation to his first term as second vice president, succeeding Dan Howard, pastor of First Baptist Church in Philadelphia. The offices of president, first vice president and second vice president are limited to two terms.
Michael Weeks, pastor of Pleasant Hill Church in Olive Branch, and Jerry Bingham, missions director for Benton-Tippah Association in Ripley, were elected by acclamation to another term as recording secretary and assistant recording secretary, respectively.
Speakers delivering messages at the annual meeting included the president’s address by Broome; the convention sermon by Ronald Meeks, professor at Blue Mountain College in Blue Mountain; Jim Futral, executive director-treasurer of the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board; and Ronnie Floyd, senior pastor of the multi-campus Cross Church in northwest Arkansas.
Robert “Bob” Hill, pastor of Roundaway Baptist Church in Doddsville, was presented the Bivocational Pastor of the Year award by Michael Lee, MBCB director of pastor/leadership development.
Mississippi native Michael Catt, senior pastor of Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Ga., delivered the Bible Treasures series of devotionals. Under Catt’s leadership, Sherwood Church produced the popular Christian-themed movies “Facing the Giants,” “Fireproof” and “Courageous.”
Worship through music was provided by:
— The praise team from First Baptist Church in Natchez led by director of music ministries Derrick Burt.
— Mississippi Singing Churchmen directed by Milfred Valentine, minister of music at Prentiss Baptist Church in Prentiss.
— Mississippi Singing Churchwomen directed by Slater Murphy, the convention board’s director of church music.
— A combined choir from Mississippi Baptist churches in Jones County.
— Reflections Choir of First Baptist in Jackson.
— Heritage Choir of Brandon Baptist Church, Brandon.
Mississippi Baptists giving their testimonies were Nick King, member of First Baptist Church in Yazoo City; Gilroy Chow, member of Oakhurst Baptist Church in Clarksdale; Clint Walker, sheriff of Carroll County and member of Vaiden Baptist Church in Vaiden; and Tommy King, president of William Carey University in Hattiesburg, and university students.
One of the two resolutions approved by messengers recognized the 500-year anniversary of the Protestant Reformation and called on churches “to protect doctrinal fidelity by holding to the five Solas consistent with the Baptist Faith and Message.”
The other resolution expressed gratitude to First Baptist in Jackson for hosting the annual meeting; to the speakers, singers and instrumentalists; to Doug Broome for serving as president; and to “officers, members of all boards, agencies, institutions, committee members, and volunteers who have served this convention faithfully.”
No motions were presented for consideration.
Jimmy Porter, chairman of the Time, Place, and Preacher Committee and retired director of the Christian Action Commission, announced Ronnie Falvey, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Madison, will deliver the 2018 convention sermon. Scott Thomas II, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Lake, will serve as alternate preacher.
The 2018 annual meeting will be held Oct. 30-31 at First Baptist Church in Jackson.