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Montana Baptists who made trip to help in Gulf Coast honored

Revised 1:58 p.m. Jan. 4, 2007.

GREAT FALLS, Mont. (BP)–Montana Baptists paid tribute to more than 60 of their fellow members who made the arduous 4,000-mile journey down to the Gulf Coast region to help with disaster relief following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita by recognizing them during a special presentation time at the annual meeting of the Montana Southern Baptist Convention Oct. 5-6 at Westside Baptist Church in Great Falls, Mont., with about 150 people in attendance.

Disaster relief is a new ministry for Montana Baptists, but they are enthusiastic about the task as more than 100 volunteers have already been trained and certified and churches have given more than $75,000 toward the cause. During the annual meeting, a slide show presentation was given to highlight the work that the more than 60 volunteers did in Biloxi, Miss., and Longview and Port Arthur, Texas.

Steve Fowler, the state disaster relief coordinator, was presented with a Remington 30-06 rifle at the convention for his hard work in leading Montana’s efforts.

Messengers approved a budget of $1,506,276, which marks the largest budget in the state convention’s history and is an increase of $34,789 over the current budget. Montana will continue to forward 22 percent of its Cooperative Program receipts to national and international missions and ministries, which is the same percentage the state currently gives. Total CP giving from churches is projected at just over $500,000.

Darwin Scofield, pastor of Libby Baptist Church in Libby, was elected president of the convention, and Greg Peterson, pastor of Little Rockies Community Church in Zortman, was elected vice president — both by acclamation.

Joyce Payton of Billings was presented a plaque for her 10 years of service as administrative assistant to the executive director.

And Montana Baptists finalized a partnership with the Tennessee Baptist Convention as James Porch, executive director of the TBC, and Jason Carson*, executive director of the MSBC, shook hands on the agreement at the meeting.

The 2006 annual meeting of the Montana Southern Baptist Convention will be Oct. 4-5 at Belgrade Baptist Church in Belgrade.
Adapted from a report by Jim Edlin.
*Name changed for security concerns.

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